Malay teen picked up Tamil and Urdu

When he was 11, Waleed Baqeer was determined to learn Tamil. He picked it up within a year, with the aid of the Internet. At 13, he taught himself Urdu, also with the help of the Internet.
When he was 11, Waleed Baqeer was determined to learn Tamil. He picked it up within a year, with the aid of the Internet. At 13, he taught himself Urdu, also with the help of the Internet.ST PHOTO: ALVIN HO

Meet two students of Pathlight School, a school for high-functioning children with autism, who show how they are not defined by this condition, but by their resilience and extraordinary abilities.

At Primary 5, most pupils struggle with their own mother tongue, but 12-year-old Waleed Baqeer, who has autism, had taught himself Tamil.

Despite being exempted from studying a mother tongue subject, the Malay pupil picked up the language because of his deep passion for Indian culture.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 14, 2018, with the headline 'Malay teen picked up Tamil and Urdu'. Print Edition | Subscribe