Malaysian teen on Autism Spectrum is now a confident Care2Run Junior Coach
Mikhail Raul, 17 has Asperger’s syndrome, a type of autism spectrum disorder that affects communication and social skills.
Despite his condition, Mikhail loves to learn and try out new things. He spends his free time reading any kind of books he can lay his hands on.
Mikhail was enrolled in a mainstream school by his mother Mazuin Murtadza. Although his teachers understood that he was different, his classmates were not so understanding and constantly teased him.
“It was not easy for him and to us as a family. Sometimes I used to think, I’m not asking for much, just for parents to teach their kids to be nice to one another,” says Mazuin.
Worried about her son’s future, she started looking for options that would allow Mikhail to become independent. That’s when she found Care2Run.
Care2Run, a programme under the Wildpac Asia PLT uses sports to enhance executive function in young people, help them build social skills as well as improve their overall physical and mental health and psychological well-being.
Care2Run’s Junior Leaders Programme gave Mikhail confidence and even motivated him to go up on stage in July last year and speak in front of an audience about the changes he has experienced since joining the programme.
“Just weeks before the talk, Mikhail didn’t have what it took to speak in front of so many people. But that day on stage, he was calm and spoke confidently about wanting to give back to the community.
“He loves what he’s learned, especially the first aid training, which he was so excited to tell us about. His new role as a Care2Run Junior Coach has also been a motivating factor for him,” says the proud mother.
Mikhail has stopped schooling but now attends coding classes.
“He has an aptitude for computers and computer games. And he gets excited at the thought of being able to monetise his interests. To me, if these things can present viable career options, then why not. Let’s give it shot,” Mazuin said.
RYTHM Foundation sponsors Mikhail and differently-abled young people like him by providing scholarships for them to take part in a transformational sports programme through Care2Run.