Love keeps them going

Love keeps them going

A special day for the Bongs was Aug 26, 1997, the first time the family had a proper sit-down meal together with their son Brendon.

Brendon was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder at the age of three.

His fear of eating foods with different tastes and textures led him to refuse to share meals with others and he ate only potato products.

A meal together

"He never once joined us for dinner at meal times, until he was seven.

"That day, for no reason, Brendon came over to the dining table when we were having our dinner and wanted to join us," Madam Pearl Ye, Brendon's mother, 52, recalls.

"That meal, I cried non-stop. We'd waited seven years for him to eat together with us.

"Half the plate of chicken rice ended up on the floor but I recall being so happy cleaning up the mess. I just wanted him to continue exploring new food."

Breaking silence

Today, Brendon 22, is a confident and independent individual, a far cry from when he was young.

Till the age of five, however, he was not able to speak to express himself.

Daily communication was limited to hand gestures and drawings - consequently, he frequently got frustrated and destroyed things.

Signs of obsessive behaviours also took a toll on him, causing him to suddenly grab strangers' belongings.

"There were times when we got scolded in public for not raising our child properly," she says.

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