Author Archive
Tan Moon Chong

Against The Odds

Moon Chong and his son Matthew

Moon Chong and his son Matthew

My name is Moon Chong.  My wife, Jaclyn & I – we have 3 children, aged 18, 16 & 10. Our youngest one, Matthew was diagnosed with autism when he was 2 years old. We joined the Family Inclusion Network about a year ago.

Matthew was non-verbal till he was about 5 years old. Today, he can, at times be frustrated at not having the language skill & vocabulary to make us understand him. When he goes into a meltdown – intense tantrum – it can last an hour or more. Matthew also has sensory issues with loud noises (eg clapping), dislikes strangers & crowds in enclosed spaces and has a phobia for babies, for reasons we can’t explain.

When he was smaller, going to my in-laws for our weekly extended family dinners, riding in a crowded bus or MRT train, and attending church services were unmanageable. Getting into the lift with a baby inside would end in embarrassing hysterical cries. A visit to the dentist or to the barber was out of the question.

When he was 4 years old, by the grace of God who supplies me with love, patience & wisdom, I was able to quit my job and stay home full-time to help Matthew in his developmental needs – his  emotional, verbal, social & cognitive needs.

Against all odds, Matthew graduated from a special needs preschool to a mainstream primary school. He is now in Primary 3 and while he still has his bad days, he is not coping too badly.

I thank God that in the last 3 years, Matthew has made developmental breakthroughs, one after another. He has learnt to eat with chop-sticks, sit thru a dental cleaning, have his haircut at the barber, learn to say grace at meal-time, pray the Lord’s prayer, fold his own clothes, make his own drinks & ride a bicycle. You can imagine the intense joy we felt, each time he hit one of these milestones.

Matthew still struggles with making friends, displays visibly awkward reactions to his phobias in public and is linguistically not skillful enough to cope fully with schoolwork. But most importantly, we can see that he is happy, feels secured with people around, speaks with self-confidence and is surrounded by love.

Matthew has taught me to be a better parent. His autism has opened doors for me to reach out to other parents. For the past 5 years, I served in his primary school by organizing parenting workshops for other parents & activities for father & child bonding. Together with a few other dads in FIN, we have also initiated a Dads’ network to support one another in our fathering journey.

My continuing prayer for Matthew is that he can grow up to be a responsible man of God – fully functional in society, able to hold down a job, manage his relationships with others & in his own special way, be a blessing to others.

 Family Inclusion Network (FIN) is primarily a network founded by parents and volunteers with a HEART for families of persons with special needs and disabilities.

WHAT'S ON IN COOS

Events on May 23, 2019

7:30 pm: Caregivers-to-Caregivers Education Programme

Details Description: - C2C Programme provides training to caregivers of persons with mental illness. This unique training programme is free of charge. You will be supported through 2.5 hour 12 sessions and be empowered in your caregiving journey. 2 May - 18 July, every Thursday.
Location: Room 217B/305
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Events on May 24, 2019

7:30 pm: Alpha Cycle Two Run [1 of 8 sessions]

Alpha Cycle Two runs for a total of 8 sessions, plus additional two sessions of Holy Spirit Day & Celebration Dinner.
Location: COOS Room 308
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Events on May 25, 2019

2:30 pm: English Service : Pastor Daniel Teu speaking

Location: 130 Margaret Dr, Singapore 149300
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2:30 pm: HOPE - A Playback Theatre Showcase

Come, bring a pre-believing friend and join us for an afternoon showcase of Playback Theatre, an improvisational theatre form in which the audience members tell their stories and watch the cast enact them on the spot.
Location: Soul Food@20 Lengkok Bahru #01-10
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4:30 pm: Youth Service

Location: 130 Margaret Dr, Singapore 149300
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Events on May 26, 2019

12:00 am: Camp Wycliffe 2019

Details Description: - Camp Wycliffe 2019 is a 5-day missions exposure camp.
Some highlights:

Learn about cross-cultural missions
Spend two-nights in a local Thai village
Make friends from all over the world

Date: 26 May to 1 June 2019
Venue: Chiang Mai, Thailand
Camp fees: $630 ($580 early bird rates before 11 March 2019)
Registration closes on 8 April. Only 10 vacancies available.

For more information and registration, visit https://wycliffe.sg/campwycliffe-2019.
Location: Chiang Mai, Thailand
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8:30 am: English Service : Pastor Daniel Teu speaking

Location: 130 Margaret Dr, Singapore 149300
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10:45 am: English Service : Pastor Daniel Teu speaking

Location: 130 Margaret Dr, Singapore 149300
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Events on May 29, 2019

3:00 pm: Cafe Oasis Decoupage Class

Come and learn how decorate your own Tote Bag! Decoupage is the technique of decorating something with cut out material on a fabric which varnish is then applied! After the class please stay and have a drink and food at Cafe Oasis
Location: Atrium
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