The miracle in Rina's Family, Perth Western Australia
In 1996, a miracle happened in my family through my autistic brother Louis Wong. Since he was born with a cleft lip and palate it was expected that there would be a delay in his speech development. In fact he remains non-verbal to this day. After our migration to Australia, Louis’s temperament changed dramatically; most distressingly he exhibited an increased propensity toward self-harm. This change in behaviour was likely attributed to the change in environment and language in moving from Hong Kong to Perth. He was later diagnosed with autism which instigated a deportation order from the Department of Immigration.
After 18 months of stressful court hearings and the expenditure of much of my parents’ savings, the case was resolved in our favour and we were allowed to stay in Australia but my father returned to Hong Kong to earn a living.
During this time, Louis attended a special school where he was assessed to not only have no writing skills but was incapable to develop any. Dissatisfied with this verdict, my mother committed herself to teaching him privately at home.
My Family Story
Little Rina with baby brother Louis
Louis, my brother was diagnosed with Autism and an IQ below normal
Physical & Verbal Prompting
Training for eye contact.
It began with training Louis, a hyperactive 9 year and 9 months old boy, with zero attention span and wayward eye-contact, to remain seated for just five minutes. With food enticements, physical and verbal encouragement, and daily worksheets prepared by mum using colourful magazine cut-outs, he gradually learnt to sit and work for 45 minutes, twice a day.
From learning to hold a pencil, practising hand-eye coordination exercises, and persevering through numerous tantrums, it took ten months to teach Louis how to count from one to five. To learn to write his own name took another three months of lessons. During this time a test administered at school showed his IQ to be below normal levels; ruling out his being a savant or having Asperger’s Syndrome.
Despite this, one day he started demonstrated advanced numeracy skills, e.g., completing geometric number sequences, which was odd since mum had not yet taught him the concept of multiplication.
"It took 10 months to teach Louis how to count from 1 to 5."
"no writing skills"
Over the following weeks and months, mum tested Louis with increasingly more difficult mathematical sums. Starting with simple addition and subtraction, he progressed to carryovers, multiplication, decimal arithmetic, and could do a complex string of sums without any working out. Astonishingly, he returned correct answers to complicated arithmetic in same time it took for a simple ‘one plus one’. I helped by copying questions about algebra, trigonometry, square roots, from my high school textbook and Louis answered them all without the use of a calculator.
My mum knew something was not right since she had never taught him any of this material before. On 24th November 1996 we wrote down this question on paper: “Who taught Louis maths?” with the expectation that he would write ‘mum’. I watched with anticipation as he wrote the letters “G, O, D”. Both terrified and amazed, that was when I prayed and became a Christian.
Naturally, our family became curious of Louis’s limits so we started asking more esoteric questions by writing them on paper and leaving a blank for him to fill. When asked his name in Chinese, Louis wrote the correct characters using the proper calligraphic stroke order. We tested him in Japanese and French; he could write both. We asked further questions regarding history, science, medicine, biology, and Biblical history and he correctly wrote answers to them all. To further test it out, a family friend who was a doctor compiled a list of mathematics questions that ‘ordinary’ people would struggle to answer, e.g., “What is the sum of one to one thousand?” and “What is one divided by zero?” Once again it only took Louis a matter of seconds to answer correctly.
Later on Louis took the initiative to write messages on his worksheets such as “God loves everyone in the world”, “Jesus came to save”, and “Holy Spirit taught him to write this”. Some writings even anticipated future events and surely enough over the past decade we have seen their fulfilment. We have accumulated several folders of his writings and they are just too real and too close to home such that their contents cannot be ignored. My family accepted Jesus as our saviour and Lord since then.
Mum and Dad continue to serve families with special needs through the Louis Program based on the training materials they used with Louis. In 2016, over 4000 families with mentally-disadvantaged children are now being trained to help their special family member. http://www.lp.org.hk/e_index.htm.
Now that I am older and more proficient in writing, I plan to document these events in a book titled “Bridge” - even this title was mentioned in one of Louis’s messages.”
I just remember that it was on this day, 24th November 1996, that I witnessed Louis wrote “G-O-D”, the day I prayed to acknowledge and accept Jesus and my God and saviour and became a Christian. Just wanted to share this with you, and please do let me know if you would like to have a read of this booklet that my mum has put together- basically a summary of what happened with photocopies of some of the messages that Louis wrote. There is also a DVD set containing 2 disks, documented by a Hong Kong film crew a few years apart. The first describes how it happened, and the second, what life is like a few years on including the Louis Program Ministry. Recently (Jan 2017) a Hong Kong film crew came to Perth to produce a documentary-drama about this extraordinary event that will be released in October this year. The documentary-drama is entitled "Water to Wine" filmed in Cantonese and English, with Mandarin and English substitles.
This is God’s work from Perth, to the world. Glory to Jesus!
Some original training worksheets and messages - Louis Wong