Her son put his fingers in stranger's mee goreng
When Madam Aw Bee Koon takes her autistic son Zachary Lim, 17, out for meals, she often keeps a close eye on him as he has a habit of staring closely at other people's food.
Madam Aw, 51, a pharmacist, says whenever it happens, she worries that people will lash out at him.
She recalls one incident where she had to face an irate man after Zachary stuck his fingers into the man's plate of mee goreng before walking away.
Speaking to The New Paper on Sunday, she recounts: "The man said, 'Do you know what your son did? Buy me a new bowl, I am not going to eat this.'"
Zachary, a student at Pathlight School, was behind his mother when the drama ensued.
She says: "I apologised and explained that my son is autistic. I said I would buy him another plate of mee goreng, but he was still furious.
"It was only when I was queueing for his food that he calmed down and apologised for his outburst."
Madam Aw is married to an information technology director, and they also have a 19-year-old daughter, who is studying at Nanyang Technological University.
She says it is challenging having Zachary out with them on family outings.
She says: "When we are at restaurants, he tends to spin around or peer closely at other people's food.
"We get smiles from understanding people. But other times, we get disgusted looks."
She wishes people would be more accepting of older children with autism.
She explains: "People tend to be more forgiving towards autistic children than autistic teenagers."
Madam Aw says she will still take Zachary out to public places as it will help him adjust better to other people.
"I want him to be desensitised to public spaces so that he can learn how to behave appropriately," says Madam Aw.
"Some families might feel ashamed for taking their children with special needs out.
"But taking them out shows people that autistic people exist, and that they should be accepted."
When asked what she wishes for her son, she says: "My aim for him is that he will be independent one day.
"I hope he will be able to buy his own meals and go out on his own.
"In the meantime, I will love him no matter what."
Couple misread autistic son's intentions
Her autistic son's obsession with opening car doors recently landed him in trouble.
Ms Choo Kah Ying recounted in a Facebook post that she was at Bishan Park on May 7 with her son Sebastien for him to go skating.
The 20-year-old was doing laps around the park as Ms Choo waited for him.
While doing the laps, he approached parked cars and fiddled with the doors.
A couple misread his actions and contacted the police.
Ms Choo, who is in her 40s, wrote: "When the police approached to talk to him, Sebastien moved away."
When the police reached out, he reacted aggressively.
Ms Choo said: "That was when they handcuffed him and put him in a police car."
In her post, Ms Choo expressed her frustration at the lack of understanding of people with special needs.
"While one can just dismiss this episode as a lesson learnt and my opportunity to educate the policemen (who turned out to be nice and apologetic) and work with them to avoid future incidents, I knew we got lucky that no one got hurt, but I shudder to know when our luck would run out."
Her post has since garnered more than 3,000 shares.