Why you SHOULD be a YFA, from a YFA

November 07, 2014


IT'S FRIDAY GUISE.
HELLO WEEKENDS (:

Anyways, I was scrolling through Facebook when a saw a post that a fellow YFA shared, about joining as a Youth For Autism and I realised I have never really wrote about my experience as a YFA. And so, I typed out a long post about my time as a YFA at Eden School, posted it on Facebook (something which I have never done haha) and I thought maybe I will just share it here as well.

Reflections of a YFA

Being a YFA was one of the best decisions I made in life but I won't lie, it was really tough in the beginning for me. For the first 3 months, I was just forcing myself to make it through each day because it was so mentally draining for me. I dreaded going to work every day and I can't describe the fatigue I felt at the end of each day. However, as we all know, things will get better as time passes. In the remaining 3 months, things were looking up for me and I actually started looking forward to coming to school each day an even stayed on as a part-timer!
I really loved my class and the boys at bake site so so much. They never failed to make me smile no matter how tired I was. 
I can never be more grateful to the other YFAs who went through this journey together with me. We understood each other's dedication to the students, the desire of wanting to do all that we can to help our classes and the teachers. Where friends and family cannot fully grasp the joy and pain I felt for my students, my fellow YFAs could. I love you guys <3

Also, if not for the support and encouragement of the teachers and staff at Eden, my experience as a YFA would not be as meaningful and fun. It was them, who so willingly and patiently guided me along this entire 6 months, adding colour to my time spent there. They were not only my mentors, but also my friends.
I truly hope that I have made a difference for the short time I have spent at Eden because that was one of the reasons I wanted to become a YFA. Everyday, I was learning something new, most of it about autism, but many on life as well. Becoming a YFA has really impacted my life and though it was no walk in the park, I don't regret it at all. 
In public, I now recognize the signs of people with autism, Before, I used to think that these people were 'crazy' or 'weird' and I often see many others giving them annoyed stares or simply shunning away from them. However, after my time as a YFA, I better understand the struggle of people with autism and what their caregivers are going through. I know, I may not be fully able to grasp their difficulties, but at least I can try in whatever way I can to make things easier for them. Offer a smile, be more accepting, your actions often influence those of others. 
What do you know about autism? What do you know about the challenges faced by caregivers of people with autism? What do you know about the feelings, thoughts and difficulties faced by the people who have autism themselves? Experience it first-hand.

You will not regret it. Join as a YFA (:


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