Hugs and heartaches from ageing parents who raise son with autism

13 Nov 2020


Mr and Mrs Goh are in their 70s. They have always been worried about their son, Duane who has autism. The Gohs have two other children, but they do not wish to force them to look after Duane as it will not be fair.

Although Duane is in his 40s, Mr Goh said “it’s like having a little child at home.” He refused to listen to his parents when they tried to explain that they are now old and will be gone one day. Whenever Duane feels agitated, Mr Goh will pat him on his head and hug him.

The Gohs have now set up an SNTC trust account for Duane. In future, when the family sells their two-storey terrace house in Changi to move into a HDB flat, most of the sales proceeds will be used to top up the trust account for Duane’s future care needs. Mr and Mrs Goh also intend to nominate their CPF savings to top up Duane’s trust account for his long-term care needs. Such an arrangement has been agreed upon by their two older children.

There are also plans for Duane to transit into a residential facility for persons with autism when Mr and Mrs Goh are no longer around. With an SNTC Trust set up, arrangements can be actualised. Our case managers also continue to support Mr and Mrs Goh in their planning for Duane’s future care needs through review sessions.

The Gohs’ story first appeared in The Straits Times on 28 Dec 2019.

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