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He may not be able to communicate clearly with people around him, but 12-year-old Muaz found his way through food. From handling with sharp knives and preparing calamari at the young age of 11, and now selling doughnuts with his mother in their home-based business Lytmuz Test, Ms Lydiawati, Muaz is proof that having grit is simply enough to live out your dreams. We spoke to Ms Lydiawati as she shared her son’s journey.
Mother-Son Duo Runs A Doughnut HBB
He may not be able to communicate clearly with people around him, but 12-year-old Muaz found his way through food. From handling with sharp knives and preparing calamari at the young age of 11, and now selling homemade doughnuts with his mother, Ms Lydiawati, Muaz is proof that having grit is simply enough to live out your dreams. We spoke to Ms Lydiawati as she shared her son’s journey.
The Natural Cook
Ms Lydiawati recounted Muaz’s interest in cooking started when he was 5. She let him help her out in the kitchen, and started preparing simple meals. As he got older, they progressed to much more difficult tasks, and she was amazed at Muaz’s ability to learn fast.
Credit: Lydiawati MZ for Youtube“When I was cutting a fresh squid to make his favourite calamari, he stood right beside me watching my every move, so I decided to let him continue. I could see his face lit as he took over my place; he peeled the squid skin like a pro, then cut them into almost equal sizes – I stood there, and my jaw dropped! Turns out all this time, he was actually learning as he watched me cook or prepare the ingredients.”
Credit: Lydiawati MZ for YoutubeThat motivated Ms Lydiawati to harness Muaz’s talent. She started exploring more recipes to cook and bake together and decided to document their food on YouTube and other social media accounts. They’ve amassed a steady stream of followers since its inception 3 years ago. “Along the way, we received messages asking if we intended to sell our food but we weren’t ready yet because Muaz was still young and there were many barriers we had to overcome,” she explained.
Dealing With Challenges
Muaz was diagnosed with autism at 3 years old and faced difficulties in his speech. He speaks very little and his articulation isn’t clear. While he is able to communicate basically and comfortably with his family members, having basic conversations with outsiders is a challenge for him. “I tried letting him order an ice cream cone from McDonald’s without my assistance, but the staff found it difficult to understand his order. I had to intervene by prompting him to point to the picture on the counter instead for the staff to see,” she shared.
Credit: Lydiawati MZ Expressing his emotions is also a challenge for him too. “Sometimes he cries or gets angry out of the blue, but his behaviour is still very much under control,” she added.But Muaz’s dedication to learning his way around the kitchen with new recipes and new foods under Ms Lydiawati’s guidance and support has strengthened her faith that he definitely has got the chops to showcase his culinary skills. “Fast forward, he is now 12 years old, much more mature and easier to work with after years and years of exposure to cooking - I think we are ready now,” she added, which sparked the idea for Lytmuz Test.
Journey To Lytmuz Test
Lytmuz Test was born in November 2021, which focuses on simply making IG-worthy and tasty doughnuts. When asked why they chose to sell doughnuts, it was because Muaz seemed to enjoy making it the most after having explored many recipes with him.
Credit: Lydiawati MZ “I could see how Muaz leapt a little bit more when it was time to make doughnuts. He loves rolling and cutting using the donut cutter. Since he already has the basic skills to make doughnuts, I am just going to tap on it, and make him better,” she recalled.
Credit: Lydiawati MZ The name Lytmuz Test goes beyond just the combination of their names together. In relation to the phrase ‘litmus test’, she confesses that starting out a business with Muaz to cook for others apart from themselves was a personal challenge.
Credit: Lydiawati MZBut there really is no need for concern based on the raving reviews they’ve received from their loyal customers! ? While Ms Lydiawati is truly happy that people have been loving their doughnuts, she’s grateful over how Lytmuz Test has changed Muaz. “I envisioned Lytmuz Test to be a platform for Muaz to develop further his culinary skills in the long run, and so far, it is going in the right direction” she explained. His fine motor skills and awareness have improved dramatically when he started cooking, especially when he is handling hot oils. She realises that cooking became therapeutic for Muaz.
Credit: Lydiawati MZRunning Lytmuz Test also became a bonding activity for the mother-son duo, and now they could navigate through their differences in communication much easier than before. “I also understand him better even through his non-verbal signals, and he also understands my style, so we’re really learning more about each other every day”, she added.
A Worthy Race
Credit: @aworthyrace for InstagramMs Lydiawati has also released a book, ‘A Worthy Race’, which details Muaz’s journey, and she hoped that Muaz will be able to look back and see how much he has grown. She also hopes that her book will also be a handy guide for other parents who have children with autism. “I want them, and especially Muaz, to read this book and remember this: ‘I may be a differently-abled person, but I am still useful to my family and society.’ ” There’s one takeaway she has for parents who may have challenges when raising a child with autism: “It might take a village to raise a child, but it takes one person to roll up his or her sleeves to work with the child and you will see results”.
Credit: Lydiawati MZIf you're interested in supporting this mother-son duo, check out their Instagram, @lytmuztest! The doughnuts are available on a pre-order basis based on the available dates, and you can order them through their website. They are sold in boxes of 6, with a variety of flavours which include Sugar, Oreo, Strawberry, Chocolate, Cornflakes, Speculoos and a new favourite: Hazelnut Coffee.
Credit: Lydiawati MZTheir doughnuts are light and soft and have beautiful glazings which are just too pretty to be consumed. It’s going to be difficult (even for us ?) to choose our favourite flavour! Lytmuz TestHalal status: Muslim-ownedOrder via: HereCollection methods: You can opt for delivery or self-collect. Message here for more information. Website | Facebook | InstagramA Worthy RaceOrder via: HereOther Social Media AccountsMs Lydiawati: InstagramMuaz: InstagramYoutube | Facebook