The 80s Brit Pop and New Wave music era were a major influence in my teens. Though American Top 40 music is equally popular in Malaysia, the British music scene fueled my teenage fantasies. I saved my allowance to afford subscriptions to British pop magazines. I re-winded tape cassettes to listen to my favorite songs again and again. Posters of pop stars smoldered on my bedroom walls, their music were the anthems to my youth. I wanted to be a Bananarama and I wanted to marry a Duran Duran.
20 years later…..
MTV stars no longer inspire me, instead they’re replaced by the rockstars of the autism world. Renowned doctors, scientists, researchers, superstar moms and iconic dads. Names I’ve read in books, magazines and the Internet. Imagine my delight when the first autism conference I attended were wall-to-wall autism glitterati. Names baby, names!
Not star-struck, mind you. Merely admiration and respect for the people who motivated and helped me recover my daughters. I’m far too sophisticated and worldly to ever be so gauche, or so I thought. Me, star-struck? Until I attended my first autism conference that is. I blushed and stammered in the presence of the autism all-stars I met there, I even giggled like a schoolgirl. Later on, even when I was a seasoned autism conference attendee, when introduced to a famous author and mom extraordinaire, I just stood there awe-struck, speechless and smiling stupidly. Later on, I kicked myself for not thanking her for her inspiring work and contribution to the autism community worldwide.
I must confess, I failed high school science. No surprise there, I spent my nights bopping to Spandau Ballet and Tears For Fears in my bedroom instead of studying. My lack of knowledge in biology and chemistry left me woefully inadequate, a biomed newbie unable to grasp the basic concepts of autism biomedical intervention. My first biomedical conference left me dazed and overwhelmed. And I’m expected to master this crash-course in biochemistry? Biomedical conferences are all about educating and empowering parents, I was determined to succeed but I was in over my head. At that time, I thought Mei and Min Min’s chances of recovery were very slim, saddled with a mum like me. But I forgave myself if I couldn’t absorb or memorize everything that I learnt. That’s where experienced biomedical practitioners on my daughters’ recovery team come in.
I’m thrilled whenever I hear a renowned autism specialist comes to a neighboring country. I never pass an opportunity to learn from a world-class doctor, bringing my daughters closer to recovery and better health. If the universe has been kind enough to send these doctors so close to me, the least I could do is meet them halfway. No, I’m no biomed groupie, rockstar doctor stalker or conference junkie. Just a mum on a mission. I live halfway across the world from the hotbed of biomedical intervention, alternative healing and autism resources that is the USA. Constrained by geography, bureaucracy and the restrictions of my land, I made it work nonetheless. Autism mums are nothing if not resourceful and determined. After all, what’s an ocean or two between me and a great doctor right?
There’s an autism conference in Dubai soon. A couple of years ago, I would have jumped on a plane without hesitation. I’d be attending lectures and making new friends from the Middle East. Heck, I’d probably have accosted some poor unsuspecting camel in the desert and milked it! Alas, I have to juggle my time and finances wisely as I’ve got my eye on the next Autism One/Generation Rescue Conference in 2012. As a friend said, she’s getting a bucket to save the money to go next year. I too have a very big bucket to fill, for Chicago is a long way to go.
Now, I’m gonna crank up some old-school Duran Duran and shimmy to the righteous beat with my two recovered girls, courtesy of the rockstar doctors.