Barny Yao  Chu En

Stopping is not in his vocabulary.

Through my window

During his younger days, Barny would often run out of class. He has a short attention span. Diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder at two, Barny was confirmed autistic by a child psychiatrist from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia when he was three. Two years later, his mother Grace resigned from her job as a public health sister and tutor for community nurse trainees. Grace home schooled Barny until he was seven. Personal and dedicated attention helped Barny acquire many skills.

His understanding is primary; he can read and loves Scrabble. Completing a 5000 piece puzzle over three days is a norm. Barny barely talks but with his iPad games, he can give you a run for your money!

Autism spectrum disorder is an enigma. Limitations with communication and social interaction skills mean the autistic lack the tools to understand and be understood. To quote:

“I think in pictures. Words are like a second language to me. I translate both spoken and written words into full-colour movies, complete with sound, which runs like a VCR tape in my head. When somebody speaks to me, his words are instantly translated into pictures. Language-based thinkers often find this phenomenon difficult to understand, but in my job as an equipment designer for the livestock industry, visual thinking is a tremendous advantage.” Temple Grandin, Thinking In Pictures: My Life with Autism

Despite overwhelming setbacks, Barny has a passion for drawing. He has blossomed into a dedicated artist. Once he starts on a drawing, Barny will complete it within a day. This is a great improvement from his early years.

At the Amazing Colours Art Exhibition organised by Kuching Autistic Association from 2nd – 4th October 2015 at The Spring, Kuching, Barny exhibited and sold many of his art pieces. One of his art pieces was enlarged over a fire door at the venue. His art is bright, striking and vibrant. His work is an expression of himself and non-verbal communication to us; admirable and inspiring.

Barny is an active contributor to Kuching Autistic Association. His art is featured in greeting cards. He is a shining example that the autistic can learn and excel as well. Barny has surmounted countless obstacles for 36 years to where he is today. Stopping is not in his vocabulary.

Barny Yao Chu En