My Inspiring Journey Hub, or ‘MIJ Hub’ is a non-profit organisation that offers academic curriculum and daily living skills catered for students, aged 2 to 30 years, with learning differences of 6 different diagnoses - namely Autism, ADHD, Cerebral Palsy, Dyslexia, Down Syndrome and Global Developmental Delay.
Its inception began from the inspiring journey of its very founders, Husband and Wife Mohammad Ali Dawood and Faraliza Zainal. Both worked corporate jobs, but that was set to change when at 18 months old, their first child Ashraf was diagnosed with a rare disease called Tuberous Sclerosis. This caused Ashraf’s first epilepsy attack at the mere age of two. Frequent seizures ensued, keeping the family up at night, but their problems did not stop there.
Just a year later, Ashraf was diagnosed with autism and sensory integrated dysfunction, a condition that makes it difficult for him to feel his body’s limits. Said Mr Ali: “At one stage, he wouldn’t stop eating until he vomited. He couldn’t feel that he was full.” With a lack of true awareness and adequate support systems for children with Special Needs at the time, the pair’s parenting journey was fraught with challenges - be it in his education pathway or social life.
Mdm Fara admitted: ‘‘I was in denial for two years. I couldn’t accept it.” It wasn’t until a friend told her that God had given her Ashraf “because he knows that you are the only one who can bear and raise him”, that she finally embraced her situation, and soon sought to change their lives for the better.
She entirely gave up her corporate career and started anew, teaching herself to be a special needs educator. She threw herself into learning all about autism and how to deal with it, by taking up various short courses from behaviour management to alternative therapy. In the process, she discovered that it was movement therapy that Ashraf responded to best.
Setting out to pioneer a unique, safe centre for holistic learning for Ashraf, with a focus on utilising movement therapy, Mdm Fara started MIJ Hub in 2011. It started small, being the only organisation to offer weekend Islamic classes for 15 students with Special Needs. Mdm Fara, the sole teacher there, had to repeatedly request from Sultan Mosque for adequate space to run classes. Little did they know that their impact on the community would only grow from there.
As of today, MIJ Hub has impacted more than 800 individuals with Special Needs, and the number continues to increase. It aims to be and presents itself as a one-stop centre for matters relating to Special Needs, especially for the Malay-Muslim community and for those of lower-income, and to leave a lasting impact on more individuals locally and even overseas. Starting from the story of one family of a child with Special Needs, it has continued to touch the lives of many others with similar backgrounds, filling a gap in all-rounded services that truly cater to the special needs of a community.
Our Preparatory programme has been thoughtfully designed and customized to the needs of young students with various abilities, where they learn using their senses and identify their strengths through varied learning styles. These allow the students to be equipped with the necessary skills required for their transition to the primary level.
Day Activity Centre (DAC) aims to provide our students with learning differences a safe space where they can benefit from our customized activities that focus on life skills, creativity, social emotions and physical activity. DAC prides itself on creating a structured yet conducive environment that is suited the needs of the students.
Day Activity Centre
Our Work Readiness Adult Programme (WRAP) offers students with learning differences a curriculum which helps to better prepare themselves for jobs that they are capable of doing. Aside from attaining knowledge about the working world, they will also learn various vocational skills which are necessary for survival in workplaces and in the community.