#HerWorldHerStory: She overcame her intellectual disability to become a childcare aide

by Cara Van Miriah; Hayley Tai; Cheong Wen Xuan  /   April 12, 2020

Having a disability didn’t stop her from chasing her dreams. One day, Nur Ayuni Abdul Rahim wants to become a childcare teacher


#HerWorldHerStory is a collection of 60 women sharing their successes, passions, challenges, inspirations, hopes and dreams. Together, they give a snapshot of what it is to be a woman today.

Every month from March till August, we present 10 women navigating their lives now – and in their own words. Keep reading Nur Ayuni Abdul Rahim’s story…

Hair Ash Loi/Sonder Hair, using Keune Haircosmetics Singapore Makeup Angel Gwee, using YSL

I was often bullied in primary school by my schoolmates for having poor grades and being a slow learner. They called me hurtful names… but what they didn’t know was that I have mild intellectual disability. I was diagnosed at 11. My school then recommended a transfer to Grace Orchard School (GOS) when I was in Primary 5. It’s a special education school for students with mild autism and intellectual disabilities.

My school then recommended a transfer to Grace Orchard School (GOS) when I was in Primary 5. It’s a special education school for students with mild autism and intellectual disabilities.

That was the best thing that happened to me because I work as a childcare aide now.

At GOS, the classes were in smaller groups. I was more… comfortable and I made more friends. In 2017, I was one of three students selected to train in childcare services.

I took it up also because my family encouraged me… they knew I was good with children… seeing how I’ve helped my seven nieces and nephews with their daily activities, like showering. After two years of hands-on training at a Presbyterian Community Services (PCS) childcare centre, I started my internship last year as a childcare aide at another PCS centre.

I’ve since graduated, and have been working as a full-time childcare aide since last December. I really enjoy what I do… helping the teachers during mealtimes, bathtimes and outdoor activities. But it was scary for me at first… because the kids kept a distance, and they wouldn’t talk to me.

It took some time to “win” them over. Slowly, the children and I grew close… I see them running up to me each time they saw me. I’ve also become more open and confident.

The kids didn’t see me differently… they treat me like anyone else. The even gave me gifts on Teachers’ Day. My dream is to become a childcare teacher one day. For now, I know that I’ve made it.

This article was first published in Her World’s April issue. Grab a copy today!