Jordan Ashley Augustin, who scored 14 points for his O-level exams, seen with here his parents Joe Augustin, a professional emcee, his mother, Adele, and sister Lauren.

Born with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, Jordan Ashley Augustin, 18, experiences progressive degeneration of his muscles.

Day to day tasks such as going to the toilet, writing and even raising his hand to ask questions prove a challenge for him. The progressive weakening of his physical well-being made attending long lessons difficult.

In spite of these challenges, the former St Joseph’s Institution (SJI) student, who uses a wheelchair, persevered and scored 14 points for the O-level examinations.

Jordan, whose father is Joe Augustin, a professional emcee, presentation coach and podcaster, was unable to use the regular desks in class and had to have a custom-made one.

Before SJI underwent renovation at its Malcolm Road campus, he could not join his class in the hall, nor go up to the science labs on the upper floors as there were no lifts in the old buildings then.

In the holding school in Bishan, he was exempted from doing science practicals.

Jordan also had trouble with Chinese due to the rigour of memorising and writing Chinese characters.

All these complications took a toll on Jordan’s grades. He was also getting slower in his work because writing and sitting up for long hours were tiring for him. Physically, he relied on his classmates to help him in taking the lift, buying food, and the unpacking and packing of his bag everyday in school.

In Sec 3, Jordan’s grades slipped and although he had the opportunity to be promoted to Sec 4, he decided to repeat the year upon the advice of his parents.

“We were afraid his foundation wouldn’t be strong enough if he went up to Sec 4,” Mrs Adele Augustin, Jordan’s mother, told CatholicNews.

She added that Jordan was initially disappointed as he would no longer be in the same class as his classmates but “in the end, he was okay with it.”

Jordan attended all the extra classes provided by his teachers, as well as night study sessions organised by the school.

He also began using the computer for long essays and was given extra time during the exams so that he could take short breaks during papers.

His family credits Jordan’s teachers, Mr Andrew Martin and Mr Karl Lee, for “pushing and motivating” Jordan.

Mr Andrew was Jordan’s math teacher and Mr Lee taught him Chinese.

On his part, Jordan persevered and never let his disability get in the way. He hopes to pursue the information security and forensics course in Ngee Ann Polytechnic.

His advice to students with special needs: “Don’t be shy to get all the support you need. Whether it be from your parents, friends or teachers, they’re all there to help you. Don’t give up too easily!”

Submitted by SJI

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