Autism failed to stop them from pursuing their interest in the arts
Singapore Fashion Runway offers platform to learn new art skills
Casey Ng was three when she was diagnosed with autism, but that did not stop her from pursuing her love for the arts and for helping others.
Joining the Singapore Fashion Runway (SFR) was the first step in the pursuit of her passion. SFR is a platform for beneficiaries to learn new skills in the arts industry. The beneficiaries range from anyone with special needs to the disabled and cancer patients and survivors.
Casey, who is 15 now, will have her art designs featured on some clothes and bags sold at the SFR booth at the i'amble Gift Market tomorrow from 10am to 6pm, at the Enabling Village in Lengkok Bahru.
Speaking to The New Paper recently, the student from Pathlight School, said: "Art helps me communicate things my words can't.
"That's why when I grow up I want to become a psychologist to help other children with disabilities realise different ways to express themselves."
Pathlight School was the first autism-focused school in Singapore that offers mainstream education.
Casey, a Secondary Three student, started feeling different at the age of nine when her parents sent her to a daycare centre after school.
Said Casey: "The other children started picking on my uniform. They started asking me why it was different as the majority of them came from the schools around the area.
"That was when my mum explained to me that I had to go to a special school."
Christie Klassen, 16, is another student at Pathlight who found her passion in the arts at SFR.
Said her mother Linda Chan, 56: "Christie is not fully aware of her condition, and sometimes it makes communicating with others difficult for her."
Christie, who has an older sibling, was diagnosed with autism at the age of five.
Performing arts and delving in the modelling industry started as a hobby for Christie, but soon she found she had a passion for them. It made her feel good about herself.
The aspiring model even designed a dress herself using the skills she learnt at SFR.
"The buttons were my favourite part of the dress," said Christie.
Ms Eileen Yap, founder of SFR, said: "I think a lot people look at persons with disabilities and just pity them.
"We want these people to be seen as an inspiration, as craftsmen with talent worth being recognised and supported."