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Penang’s gifted autistic boy gets letter from Obama

At only 11 years old, Delwin Cheah Wien Loong has managed to achieve things others may never will. Now he has another achievement to add on to his growing list – the President of the United States himself has sent the boy a thank you letter [Photo: The Malaysian Insider].

Delwin received the letter from Obama thanking him for sending the President a copy of his book titled “I Can Draw”. The book was released in 2012, in conjunction with his first art exhibition, and comprises of his drawings.

However, as reported by The Malaysian Insider, Delwin and his parents do not know who has sent the book to the President. Lawrence Cheah and Erina Law are still trying to find out the kind stranger’s identity.

Delwin was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome, which is an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), with an IQ of 114 when he was 5. People with Asperger’s generally has difficulties with social interaction and non-verbal communication, and have restricted and repetitive patterns of behaviour and interests.

Delwin’s interest clearly lies in drawing, especially of Safari animals.

Delwin’s parents looking on as he draws. Photo: News Straits Times.
He had his first solo art exhibition in April 2012. Prior to that, he was in Stroke of Genius’s art exhibition which took place at the United Nations Plaza, New York. Stroke of Genius is an American organisation that helps people with ASD by encouraging and promoting their abilities and Delwin was recognized by it in 2011.

In April last year, the little artist made it to the Malaysia Book of Records as the "Youngest Artist to Hold Solo Visual Art Exhibition (Autism Spectrum Disorder)" with his 60 art pieces. In November, he was recognised by the United States' Record Setter as "World Youngest Savant Artist (ASD) to hold a Solo Exhibition".

This year he entered Malaysia Book of Records again after winning "Most Outstanding Personality (Art Category)" award.

His mother revealed Delwin is currently working on a drawing for The President as a thank you for the letter.

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