PETALING JAYA, July 8 — Rock singer Patricia Robert revealed that she hid her sons’ autism from the public in the past due being ashamed of their predicament.
The vocalist and guitarist of all-female rock group Candy told mStar that it took a long time before she and musician husband Edrie Hashim, were ready to open up about their experiences raising kids with special needs.
Knowing that her sons, now aged 15 and seven, would have to lead different lives from normal children was a hard pill to swallow at the start.
“Initially, I couldn’t accept that my sons were autistic. That was why I never spoke about my kids, especially when it came to autism.
“I also worried that if my children were to get better one day, that they would feel ashamed if people knew that they had autism,” she was quoted as saying.
Concerns about her sons’ safety eventually pushed Robert, whose real name is Nurul Nadhira Patricia Robert, to make their condition public.
“They look normal. It’s just that their abnormal behaviour makes me worry that people will beat them up (if they don’t know they’re autistic).”
The frontwoman of the band which has been recognised as the first all-female Malaysian rock band after debuting in 1996, as certified by the Malaysian Book of Records meanwhile praised actress Zarina Zainuddin.
Robert spoke highly of Zarina’s openness in posting Instagram updates about her twin sons who have autism.
She hopes that by sharing such experiences online, society’s awareness about the developmental disorder can improve.
“I’m really impressed by Zarina for constantly posting about her children on Instagram. She has given so much exposure to society when it comes to autism.
“I feel pity for her and sad when I see videos of her being hit by her own child. I know what that feels like because I’ve gone through the same thing.”