Eric went through mainstream schooling in an era where autism awareness was non-existent. Unable to understand human relationships, he was bullied and forced to conform to irrational social demands. Living in fear and anxiety in an uncertain world, he tried desperately to predict and prepare for all possible scenarios he might encounter. He wished deeply to depart this world of darkness and limitation.
Soon after his formal diagnosis explained his differences, he became Singapore’s first autistic autism advocate. While serving National Service, he volunteered to join a Personal Mastery Initiative where his Leadership Journey began. He decided to accept his human identity after reading books that explained the goodness, beauty, meaning and truth of human existence. He was soon inspired by a vision of a future where United Humanity travels freely among the stars.
To fulfil this vision, Eric was determined to bridge the huge gap between who he was and who he will become. He started by confronting his emotions and pain, becoming aware and then letting go of them. One day, the constant anxiety and fear went away as he suddenly developed 3D vision and the awareness of his physical body. That began his journey into the parallel universe of the NeuroTypicals where he began appreciating their hidden wisdom.
As Singaporeans were not keen to hear his sharings, he went to Macau, Hong Kong and China on his own to break new ground with his Chinese language autism awareness work in 2006. However, he returned a year later to take up a “normal” full-time job due to immense family pressure.
During his job interviews, he was shocked at the negative reactions of employers whenever he declared his autism diagnosis. It was the darkest part of his life as he felt oppressed, rejected and betrayed. With the support of his ex-colleagues from National Service, he found competitive employment due to his competency with technology and helpful personality. He then stayed low for over a decade while working on long-term plans. This included reshaping his autism work towards providing solutions instead of advocacy and awareness.
Sensing that Singapore’s autism community was ready to accept autistics, he re-emerged to break new ground by co-founding the WhatsApp Autism Community Singapore (WACS) in 2018 and organising the Life After Death Autism Forum 2019. Going beyond Unconditional Acceptance, he introduced the paradigm of Inclusive Equality and developed a prototype leadership training programme for adult autistics without intellectual disability.
Eric has realised that Asian society will not accept him as a professional Life Coach, Counsellor or Psychotherapist as long as he is openly autistic. Rather than imitate others, Eric is determined to create his path. Rather than pretend to be normal, he aims to redefine the autistic identity and break out of the limitations of autism. Through the Action For Autistics Masterplan and Small Mighty Enterprises, he is pioneering unconventional strategies and models to bring about a silent revolution on how we work with disadvantaged people who think differently.
Goodness, beauty, meaning, authenticity
My sword, armor, shield, allegiance
Armed with these four Divine gifts
From beyond the stars I have come forth
Journeying among illusions and limitations
Passing between light and shadow
I partake in the Ocean of Life
Towards the true purpose
Who I truly am
Who we all truly are