“Hi, I’m Koah. I’m now 7. I starred as an autistic child in ‘The Buddy’ last year.”
Koah was 6 when he auditioned to play an autistic child in ‘The Buddy’. The short film under NVPC’s 15 Shorts initiative is based on a true story about a primary school boy who befriends his autistic classmate. Most recently, Koah just started Primary One. Here, Koah shares his learnings and experiences.
Koah Aloysius Ho spent his Children’s Day holiday with us!
It’s not the first time that Koah interacted with autism…
Koah’s mom: “A close family friend of ours has a son who is autistic. Koah’s classmate also bears symptoms. There are people around us who are autistic, so Koah roughly knew what autism was. Still, when he got the role, I did show Koah more from Google and Youtube.”
Autistic children are the most kind…
Koah: “An autistic child is very kind. Although a lot of children ‘shoo’ them away, they are actually very nice! Other children just do not understand.”
Koah’s mom: “Once, the train jerked when we were travelling together in Korea. Our friend’s autistic son took notice and asked whether my children were ok. It’s really the extra steps which they do… Yet when behaviours don’t match, it’s easy for other children to get scared…”
Koah: “Actually, my autistic classmate is the one who is scared. He needs to trust the person.”
Koah thanks his mother for teaching him about autism and how to be kind to those around him.
How to build trust with a fellow autistic child…
Koah: “My classmate likes to lie on my lap. We also like playing together and sometimes we hug each other. When we play, sometimes I win, sometimes he wins! Touch is important to autistic people.”
Koah: “He doesn’t have a lot of friends. Actually, he won’t talk to everybody, only those who are not scared of him. He does not want to talk to those who are scared. He’s scared of them too.”
In ‘The Buddy’, Koah Aloysius Ho portrays Tam who is an isolated and erratic primary school boy.
How film plays a role…
Koah: ‘The Buddy teaches people how to treat autistic children and what autism is like. We should be their friend. We have to be kind and patient.”
Check out “The Buddy”! Directed by Jason Lee, the film is part of the 15 Shorts initiative between NVPC and local film company Blue3Asia. It gathers 15 local filmmakers to tell stories of everyday Singaporean heroes.15 Shorts is in support of SG Cares. Like our Facebook page.