7: Cuong’s story: Raising awareness for people with multiple disabilities

Cuong’s story: Raising awareness for people with multiple disabilities


Cuong is a 22 year old young man from An Phuc district in Hanoi. Cuong was born without sight, without hearing and has never talked. Cuong’s contact with others is through touch only. As his parents work during the day Cuong spends most days alone.
Recently, Mr Tam (formerly from the City Police) contacted Pastor Jacob about Cuong, the Tam of his friend, to see if HIF could help. CityPartners contacted Quy from Unbounded Space and a member of HIF, who took the time to assess Cuong’s sit-uation and talk with his parents.
Duc, together with Mai and Phuc (from another partner organization in the An Phuc area) visited to inter-view Cuong’s parents. During this interview, Quy told Cuong’s father about cases from other countries where education for children with multiple disabilities was available. Cuong’s parents seemed interested in learning more about educating Cuong in the hope that he might be able to communicate better with other people.
We are grateful to Duc, Phuc and Mai for their willingness to provide ongoing support. Quy and Unbound-ed Space will contact organizations that have experience in educating kids with multiple disabilities to find out what support & materials are available, e.g. how and what Cuong should be taught.
During the day, Cuong is always alone at home . It appears that this is something that causes him stress, given the lack of socialization and communication. Mai and his friends are able to visit Cuong and are keen to find ways to communicate with him. From Duc’s observation, Cuong’s perception of people sur-rounding him is quite good. Cuong is able to ‘recognise’ things and moves freely within the house & knows exactly where to put items.
Currently Quy is based in Hoi An, but can Skype with Mai and his friends to guide them how to work with people with disabilities so as to build relationship with Cuong. Quy advised that Cuong’s Dad wants to have Cuong’s hearing checked to see if hearing aids may help. Quy will contact an organization that provides hearing aids to see if they can help.
City Partners will keep updated with Unbounded Space re Cuong’s situa-tion although we cannot help won-dering how many others like Cuong are spending each day in solitude and loneliness in Hanoi? If anyone from HIF knows someone or has ex-pertise in this area, please contact CityPartners.
Michael Walls
(Names and image have been changed for privacy)