Voices That Care

Say Hello to ... Finas

Every single person in Care2Run’s ecosystem is essential, and we’ve grown so much in three years thanks to all the different individuals who’ve played a part in getting us to where we are.

It is for this reason that we aim to hand this section over to our people – our participants, coaches, volunteers, parents, friends and loved ones – so they can tell you what Care2Run means to them.

This week we say hello to ….. Noor Shafinas Abdoel Moerad, a volunteer and mum who’s grateful that she and her son, Adika, have found a place where everyone works together and helps each other – like in a family.

FEW people understand the challenges dads and mums of differently-abled children face. On the surface, of course, parents are concerned about their children’s development. However, there is, often, also anxiousness and gloom when parents feel like they’re struggling on their own.

Finas, a mum to three young children, says this is why she’s so grateful to have stumbled upon Care2Run. 

“I don’t really worry about the stigma or what people may think of differently-abled children. Plus, people nowadays are more open to accepting differently-abled kids. But still, they don’t really know what it feels like to be a parent to a differently-abled child,” Finas, who has two children with autism, explains. “Sometimes, you have to handle or look after your kids in public places, and people don’t understand how tough that can be.”

“At Care2Run, however, everyone understands each others’ challenges. And we all help each other as a family.”

Finas and her son, Adika, have been participants in Care2Run’s latest Foundation Programme, and according to the mum, who gave up a career in information technology to take care of her kids, it’s been an enjoyable and enriching experience.

Hi there, Finas. Could you share with us how you found out about Care2Run and what made you want to enrol Adika in the programme?
Hello! I actually found about the Foundation Programme through a WhatsApp group I belong to. Adika’s homeroom teacher had posted about it there. When I read about the programme, I felt that I’d like for Adika to spend some time with other differently-abled kids and learn to socialise.

Could you share with us a little about Adika’s developmental journey?
Adika spoke his first words at one-plus. Then he suddenly stopped. That’s when all the flapping of his arms and stimming started. I knew then that he was differently-abled. We started speech and occupational therapy for him when he was about four years old, shortly after he was diagnosed with autism. He began his education at a PDK (Program Pemulihan Dalam Komuniti) centre after that and stayed there until he was six. He’s in Standard One, in the PPKI programme in a government school, now. And thankfully, he’s doing great.

Since joining the Care2Run Foundation Programme, how would you say Adika has grown?
It’s hard to tell how much Adika has improved because it’s only been two months. We would probably need a longer time to see how much growth there’s been. But he loves it! He always looks forward to the sessions and loves singing and dancing and participating in the activities. I have to extend a big thank you to Adika’s mentor, Uma, for that. She has been very patient, and she really took the time to bond with Adika. I personally love seeing how calm Uma is, and I admire how she helps and guides her son, Sanjivan. 

Do you feel that you have also grown through your involvement with Care2Run? 
Certainly. I feel that I am not alone. Seeing other parents with their differently-abled kids makes you realise that the struggle is real. But I take inspiration from seeing how great many of these parents are with their kids, especially those whose children who are teenagers or adults.

Are there any moments from your time with Care2Run that especially stand out for you?
Yes, actually. There was one time when Adika threw a tantrum because he wanted to go to the playground. But it was about to rain, so we couldn’t go. He did not like that at all. But Uma, Prem and a few others helped carry him to the main activity area and calm him down. I was very touched by that.

What do you like the most about Care2Run and what are your aspirations for us?
For me, Care2Run is a place where I feel normal and accepted. It’s also a place where my kids can have fun and socialise in the company of other differently-abled children. As for aspirations, I’d personally love for more people to know about the programmes here, and to join and benefit from them. There are so many kids and parents who deserve to benefit from the programmes.

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