Thanks and Hello from Kevin

02/11/2008

----- Original Message -----

From: kevin hendrawan

To: peduli-autis Puterakembara

Sent: Monday, January 21, 2008 8:02 PM

Subject: [Puterakembara] Thanks and Hello



Hello Puterakembara,

Wow, 35 emails already in my inbox right after my Mom subscribed me. razz

Thank you for sending all those birthday greetings, I appreciate all of them. You know, I've been getting a lot of "Happy Birthdays" over the past days from this website, and just then I realised, how many people have joined this website, this amazing website my parents created. My parents also told me that this website has more than thousands of members called Rekan milis, who have had experiences with Autism and/or Asperger and I was a bit in a state of shock that it actually helped lots and lots of people, I don't know exactly how much but its a lot...a lot. So... you can see know, why i'm in a state of shock, and what's even more amazing is that when I see the emails that my mom got in mailing list, and I read them, they look so comfortable, like family comfortable. You see... when you see the emails coming through this mailing list, it feels...different like you're talking to your own family, and this happens to about hundreds maybe even thousands of emails that I have seen. I don't know...



So as you have already known I am 15 years old now and this year i'm going to be in the tenth grade. The funny thing is everyone in my class and in my grade now is going to be turning 16 years old, well you know, everyone else is going to learn how to drive and probably get their driving license, but I don't mind that, besides, driving seems like hard work. I remember school when I was in Indonesia, it was unbelievably hard, It was like i'm in high school in australia although i'm only in the fifth grade back then and now, i'm going to face all of that all over again, and what makes things worse is that in the tenth grade they have this thing called the High School Certificate (HSC). It's a test where they test you on what you have learnt and determines your final grade score which is pretty important and necessary if I want to have any chance of going to university. So this year i'm going to have to work extra hard in order to pass the HSC.



Aside from the homework and the tests that I have to study, school isn't really that hard, not as hard as it was back in Indonesia. I remember back then in Indonesia I didn't have many friends, come to think of it, and I kept on getting bullied. Here, it is completely different. I finally feel like i can interact with others. I don't feel like the outcast, alien or outsider anymore and I don't get bullied nowadays. I have more friends now. Not too many friends but just enough. Nobody in here even suspects that there is something wrong with me. They just think i'm just another normal kid. But sometimes I feel those moments where i feel like I am acting like the way i used to be before, an asperger. I don't want to be too normal, neither do i want to be too severely asperger. You could say i want to have the balance of both. Firstly because being asperger made me very unique than others and well, I've never really wanted to be like everyone else. Asperger made me very good at drawing and made me very eager to learn more about the things in this world, and as a result, when I was in Kindergarden, my knowledge was far beyond what my other classmates posses and I drew way better than what they could ever draw. On the other hand, I don't want to be too unique that i was labelled the "weird Kid" in the school. Everybody wants to be accepted by society and I think I have just achieved that. Nobody looks at me weird when I walk down the hall at school, they just pass by me like i'm any other kid in the school. Plus, back in Indonesia, at lunchtime or recess, you would see me sitting in a corner thinking "I want to be just like them, but i can't". Now...at lunchtime you could either see me at the basketball court playing with other kids or you could see me sitting with my friends talking about stuff.

But i didn't turn from asperger to normal all by myself, I've had lots of help. My beloved parents (pak Danny and ibu Leny :]) always taught me how to do things correctly and appropriately and they would always remind me if i acted weirdly again. My mom also taught me how to greet people, answer the phone, etc. They would take me to a lot of workshops in order to improve my social skills and they actually work. Also, they would take me to these bush or camp trails in the forest and would ask me to walk on the pathway to improve my sensory skills. Most of the times I remember taking lots of different kinds of multivitamins in order to improve my brain and eating alot of gluten free meals. Talking to my brother or twin sisters can also help my conversation skills. Sometimes I learn the skills myself. I've watched a lot of these shows on TV which kind of made me realise and learn. Mostly these TV shows are about school life and such. I also watch other kids in school in order to see and observe how they act, talk and react to their surroundings. All of these had helped me in the past to make me more normal.

Thank you for taking your time to read my long email and you know, I am not trying to be self centered :] I just would like to thank you for all of your wishes and all of your prayers. Just remember, do not lose faith even though i know it won't be easy. I would like to especially thank my parents, brother Michael, twin sisters Stella and Stasia, and my grandfather who is now visiting us from Indonesia, and ultimately i would like to thank God for giving me all of this. I hope i could write to you again, maybe next year.. :]

I'm sorry for those who don't speak english cause I can't really translate this, although i still understand indonesian if my mom talks.

PS: You know, the very first line of the paragraph, "Hello Puterakembara, thank you for sending all those birthday greetings, I apreciate all of them." I actually didn't write that until my mom reminded me as an opening, because you know.... i'm still Asperger (a Little bit) (:-])

Regards,

Kev :]

----- Original Message -----

From: Emil Pk

To: Milis PK

Subject: Re: [Puterakembara] Thanks and Hello

Hi Kevin,

If you could understand your Mom when she speaks Indonesian, I'm sure that you also could understand all of our conversation in this miling list. So, welcome to the jungle! Haha...

Sorry, tiba-tiba saya ngga bisa berbahasa Ingris dengan baik pas baca tulisan ini:

"I hope i could write to you again, maybe next year.. :]"

Kayaknya Kevin mau bilang akan ngirimin email sebulan sekali ya? Asyik dong!

I'm sure that you could help others in helping their asperger kids by sharing your experience.

Ditunggu email berikutnya ya...!

Best Regards,

Oom Emil

----- Original Message -----

From: Susan

To: peduli-autis Puterakembara

Subject: Re: [Puterakembara] Thanks and Hello

Hello Kevin,

It is suprise for me....that you are fifteen years old and able to write deeply and comprehensive about your life..... It is very good...you are a clever boy....

Happy birthday for you ok.

Thank You

Susan

----- Original Message -----

From: Edy R

To: peduli-autis Puterakembara

Subject: Re: [Puterakembara] Thanks and Hello

Hasil dari kerja keras dari Pak Danny & Ibu Leny sangat manis hasilnya, salut buat Pak Danny & Ibu Leny. Semoga hasil yang sama bisa saya capai juga

Salam

Edy R (babak Fadel, autis, 10th)

----- Original Message -----

From: Miko

To: peduli-autis Puterakembara

Subject: Re: [Puterakembara] Thanks and Hello

Hi Kev.. how r u little man?

Reading ur remarkable email stunned me for awhile.. I think I could imagine how hard you have worked to accomplish all of that you've told us in your email.. you and your family should be proud of it, and what you have achieved gives us hope.. hope that make us stronger working with our beloved child.. and you make us believe that someday our child would be able to write such a lovely email in this forum and inspires others like you do..

Weirdo's .... hmm that's a strong word huh? However, don't u think all the cool people in school are weirdo's as well? They do stupid things to gain their popularity. I know because I used to do stupid things too and that made me popular. In the end what really matters is how you feel about yourself. Don't be so hard on yourself… u've done good and I believe you've made ur family and yourself proud.. keep up the good work and one year is such a long time, don't you think?

We were kinda hoping that you would drop a line once in a while in a topic that could use ur expertise ... maybe u can act as if ur a special guest star in a talk show or sumthin..

Cheers/miko

----- Original Message -----

From: Lili P

To: peduli-autis Puterakembara

Subject: Re: [Puterakembara] Thanks and Hello

Hi Kevin,



Wow...amazing.......you are not just unique but also very special your parents must be proud of you, like you said,don't lose faith, and always keep your goal and dream.....thanks for your advice, it mean a lot to me and my family



all the best,

Lili Prawito

----- Original Message -----

From: Lulut

To: peduli-autis Puterakembara

Subject: Re: [Puterakembara] Thanks and Hello

Kevin canggih and niattttt banget nulis, boleh tuh gabung sama tante Ita or tante Mieke yang katanya juga lagi nulis... (nulis apa Miek). Seneng d melihat perkembangan kevin, sayang I can not speak english, jadi nulisnya ini aja..

Intinya.. parents play big role yach..........Senang ya punya mama Leny dan papa Danny, kita juga turut senang he he he.



rgds,

Lulut

----- Original Message -----

From: Eveline Hutahaean

To: peduli-autis Puterakembara

Subject: Re: [Puterakembara] Thanks and Hello

Wow, Kevin, huebat.

Your writing is so honest, funny...., smart and inspiring as well.

# I'm especially touched by your sharing on this :

"Back in Indonesia, at lunchtime or recess, you would see me sitting in a corner thinking "I WANT TO BE JUST LIKE THEM, BUT I CAN'T." BUT NOW ... at lunchtime you could either see me at the basketball court playing with other kids or you could see me sitting with my friends talking about stuff."

# Not too many friends but just enough --- agreed!! Lebih baik sedikit temen-lah... but they are "real" friends who understand us, give us empathy that we need...

# And these tips will help us a lot (in raising & handling all our kids, whether SN or even NT) , surely : (Many thanks, Kevin).

I didn't turn from asperger to normal all by myself, I've had lots of help.

- My beloved parents (pak Danny and ibu Leny :]) always taught me how to do things correctly and appropriately and they would always remind me if i acted weirdly again.

- My mom also taught me how to greet people, answer the phone, etc.

- They would take me to a lot of workshops in order to improve my social skills and they actually work.

- Also, they would take me to these bush or camp trails in the forest and would ask me to walk on the pathway to improve my sensory skills.

- Most of the times I remember taking lots of different kinds of multivitamins in order to improve my brain and eating alot of gluten free meals.

- Talking to my brother or twin sisters can also help my conversation skills.

- Sometimes I learn the skills myself. I've watched a lot of these shows on TV which kind of made me realise and learn. Mostly these TV shows are about school life and such.

- I also watch other kids in school in order to see and observe how they act, talk and react to their surroundings. All of these had helped me in the past to make me more normal.

Finally, sorry if my english is so sandy (berpasir-pasir), habis gak biasa sih (because I'm not using it everyday) ... big grin

----- Original Message -----

From: Michael Utama

To: peduli-autis Puterakembara

Subject: Re: [Puterakembara] Thanks and Hello

Dear Kevin,

I am very happy to read your email Kevin.

I am glad that you are really happy and very much improved in your 10th grade at Australian Schools.

Andrew my youngest son also has the same experiences just like you. Since his elementary school till Junior High School Andrew is studying at St Josef Catholic School at Jakarta.

As you know Indonesian School Curriculum is too much and very tough. Students are obliged to attend Ujian Nasional(National Certificate Exam.) Sekolah Dasar(Elementary Schools)and also Ujian Nasional Sekolah Menengah Pertama( Junior High School National Certificate Exam).Fortunately since last year Andrew join an American Curriculum High School at High Scope Jakarta Selatan. He enjoy very much his new school and new environtments and also new friends.He is also treated just like a normal students even he is still Aspi.

Being an Aspi is a special gift from God and also very unique.As Andrew's parents,we are very proud of Andrew and just like your beloved parents( Pak Danny &Ibu Leny),we llove Andrew very much.I am very glad to know that right now you could join together with your friens in playing basket-ball and have a lot of friends at your school.Ever onward no retreat Kevin!

All the best. Our warm regards and special prayers just for you and also your parents.

Michael Utama&Maria,Cecilia,Christian,Andrew Purnama(Aspi,16 years,10 grade High Scope).

----- Original Message -----

From: augustina k

To: peduli-autis Puterakembara

Subject: Re: [Puterakembara] Thanks and Hello

Dear Kevin,

You are great!

You are not a weird kid as some people labeled to you. You only special and marvelous gift from God to your parents and our Indonesian society who doesn't know you well.

Happy Birthday anyway.

May God bless all your dream

Adam's Mom :->

----- Original Message -----

From: loks d

To: peduli-autis Puterakembara

Subject: Re: [Puterakembara] Thanks and Hello

Kev..... Kevin, keren abiezz bo.... coool.....

What s great moment to read your writing here in PK.

If not mentioned, are any one will believe that you just 15?

Honestly... not only your parent n family but we do also proud of you.

Kamu hebat...

HSC? Kecillah... Kamu pasti bisa with your strong determination and the support of seluruh keluarga kamu I do believe... HSC is not a problem buat kamu.

I do hope that you have do a mistake that kamu akan menulis lagi tahun depan? That is a mistake khan? Maksud kamu once sebulan or seminggu khan?

Once a year means next year.... to long --> to late --> te lat.

Tuhan memberkati kamu.

Salam,

Loks.

----- Original Message -----

From: Yuliana Dewi

To: peduli-autis Puterakembara

Subject: Re: [Puterakembara] Thanks and Hello

Dear Kevin,

Wow... reading your email below really touched me, and make me realize that we all always want our child to be recover as "normal" kid, but may be our kids enjoy being a special kid, not "weird kid" of course, special in his own way. While reading your email, tears fall down as I imagine my son writing those in future (I hope), and thank you for giving us the insight from your special world, so I have a better idea abt my son's world (even he is not Aspie, he is ASD) and keep my hope high that someday he will feel comfortable and accepted like you are now, being a special person. Who wants to be normal, the same like everybody else, if you can be special? :-)

And you are right, at here we are one big family, with all special people inside :-) and we thank your mom for providing this home for us. I'm sure you are very proud of your parents for raising you up to who you are now (remind me of the song from Josh Groban, You raise me up, which I think its very touching for parents and kids, not only to God), and for giving their time and effort to help other people.

God bless you all..

Yuliana (mom of Jason, soon going to be 5 years)

----- Original Message -----

From: stanleybrat

To: peduli-autis Puterakembara

Subject: Re: [Puterakembara] Thanks and Hello

Wow.......... Kevin.......... Wow, you betul-betul anak hebat!

Regards,

Uncle Stanley

----- Original Message -----

From: mia huang

To: peduli-autis Puterakembara

Subject: Re: [Puterakembara] Thanks and Hello

Well...Kevin

Very pleasure that u joined this website...

Hope can share with U...

----- Original Message -----

From: kevin hendrawan

To: peduli-autis Puterakembara

Subject: Re: [Puterakembara] Thanks and Hello

Dear all,

Thank you for your compliment. I'm very happy that my story make you realize that "weirdo" world is not that bad as it seems. Just keep your spirit up. In about a week i'm going to start school, therefore I will be very busy. But if I get the chance I will write to you again...

Regards,

Kev :]

----- Original Message -----

From: Mieke Randa

To: peduli-autis Puterakembara

Subject: Re: [Puterakembara] Thanks and Hello

Kevinnnnn.... Wait... wait.... wait....don't say good bye dulu...read my email dulu yah...(halah... belum2 udah ngaco Inggrisnya... pasti bawah2nya tambah ancur deh, hehehe... )

Please pardon my bad english yach, Kev...

Don' t get busy dulu before you read my mail.....You know, it took me 2 days to write this email... ( I have to take an English short course first,... so I can write a Perfect email for you, just to show how exciting I am reading your perfect email as well.... you know... I think perfect job needs to be appreciated with a perfect appreciation too.)

Hei, you're smiling... you don't trust me, do you?.... I'm serious, I do take those english short course.... What???.... You don't trust me???... Hei, I'm serious....hahaha,... Well,... actually,... I'm just kidding, it's not exactly like that... ;-p)

But I'm serious when I said it took me 2 days to write this email (you write your email on 21 jan, I reply it on 23... so it took me 2 days right???... :-D) Well, Just kidding kev, just trying to get more closer to you, because I'm so happy and proud knowing such a very good boy... emh no,... I mean Little Man, (as Uncle Miko said)....like you, Kevin. (Ask your mom... Who is the silliest Auntie ( bener gak sich nulisnya???) in this milis... And for sure, she will directly, without no doubt, pointing her finger on my nose, hehehe....so, it's just a joke, ok Kev? )

Anyway.... I heard from your mom that you were so exciting everytime you received those emails from "Rekan Milis".... and you always said... "WOW....WOW...". So.... will you please "WOW... WOW" my email too ( hahaha, is that so important? alias emang penting banget yach di "WOW"-in??? hehehe)... even it's a little bit too late, since I have to take a short course for writing a perfect email for you (stop it Auntie, hahaha... okay...okay... I'll be serious ;-))

I've read your email and it just amazed me... It makes me geleng-geleng kepala sambil nganga (ask your mom if you don't understand, ok? hihihi), How great you are on describing anything especially about bullying, about school in Indonesia compare to school in Aussie, the way you get along with your friend there, and just astonished to see the way you wrote, and the way you consider about what you want to be, that you like to have balance between being An Aspie as much as being a normal kids. It's just.... impressed me. I think your parent must have taken a very big part on this process, and they must be so proud having such a nice, smart, clever and wise kid like you.

You know... My Second child is ASD. His name is Andre, 5yo, High Functioning Autism (HFA). Andre had ever been bullied at school, as well, when he was in Kindergarden. I was so sad at that time, but I realized that I couldn't protect my son every time, every minutes. So... I have to choose... Whether coaching and teaching my Son to be more independent and fight for him self, so that his friend will not bully him anymore.... OR... looking for place that conducive and acceptive for ASD kids like Andre.

And reading your email makes me think the idea on moving him to Aussie... Not just because What I've told you before... but also because Andre ONLY want to COMMUNICATE IN ENGLISH... if we teach him in Bahasa, he won't listen or obey.... He only want to respond or obey if we talk to him in English... It's strange.. but incredible as well. If we close our eyes, and listen to him speak... You'll heard him speak like an "American boy" just exactly like the boys in Playhouse Disney channel. And He is a very fast learner as well. Base on his ability, and reading your email really brought me to the idea on bringing up Andre in Aussie.... Ahhh, it means I have to save much money from now on... (sampai kapan yach? hmmmm ;-p))

So, Kevin... Happy birthday. Thank you for being our Inspiration. Thank you for sharing your story and experience as a kid with "additional needs"... (I like to call it this way, b'coz, you know..., we all had an additional needs, right?).

Be Blessed,

Mieke (mommy of three little angel.. Andre, Aurel, Hiroshi)

----- Original Message -----

From: Yuliana Dewi

To: peduli-autis Puterakembara

Subject: Re: [Puterakembara] Thanks and Hello

Hi Kevin,

Let me introduce to you, our Cheerleaders... Mieke.. reading her emails always brighten up your days, and sometimes make my boss worry to see me keep smiling in front of PC.

And she cant stop writing, so be ready that she will always send long emails :-)

For Mieke : milis = mailing list? hehehe... silliest, kayaknya pake most silly ya? hihihi.. tambah kicau deh..

TGIT (thanks god its thursday) mean one more day to friday??? hahaha... another crazy aunt..

Cheers,

Yulie

----- Original Message -----

From: Lukie Damayanti

To: peduli-autis Puterakembara

Subject: Re: [Puterakembara] Thanks and Hello

Happy belated B'day Kevin! I haven't checked my mail in a week, and I missed this!

Gee, this is the third time I get surprise, stunned with words coming out from person who claimed her/himself as an Asperger. I hardly find the "weirdo" things from your words, and too be honest; your writing is damn good..!!

OK I admit that I haven't read any book written by any Asperger etc as this community (Rekan Milis) often talk about (Donna Wiliams etc - OK except Dompas' :-)).

Your writing, and also Pito's (subject: something sounds like "mantan AS") really got me ...

I will run to the book store to find any writing from any Aspergers..;-)

I read several e-mails your mom sent - she talked about you, and share how your mom closed the cases... I got the impression that she is a wise, loving and carring mom, and it can be looked in how you turn to be. I just amaze how you choose the words, like : "I'm not trying to be self centered" - And also how you describe your fammily's role that makes you become who you are...

Young man, you're as wise as your mom, a YOUNG man with HIGH emotional intelligent.

As years goes by and as the numbers of candles on your birthday's cake getting crowd..,

I wish your path lead you to the best it can be. Keep your dreams.....and somehow you'll be there in real.

Salaam,

Lukie









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