Saturday, April 4, 2015

Do Persons with Autism Lack Empathy?

              A couple of weeks ago, the handle of our old broom broke as I was sweeping the yard. I tried fixing it while C (my eleven year old son with autism) was watching. My efforts failed and decided to dispose the broom instead. Frustrated, I spent almost an hour trying to mend it for nothing. 
The next day, I was surprised to see the broom all fixed up. The handle was neatly and sturdily connected to the broom. I thanked my husband for it. But he replied,"No, I did not fix it." There are only the four of us in the house- me, my hubby, C, and our youngest son who is five years old. If it's not me, nor my husband who fixed the broken broom, then who did? While trying to figure out who, we saw C giggling while staring at us. And so we asked him,"did you fix the broom, dear?" With that radiant smile on his face, he replied, "yes."
            That was not only about an old broken broom. What made us really happy was the fact that our son took the time to help us without being asked. He showed us he cares and we matter to him. 

Friday, January 2, 2015

Autism Parenting 101: Overcoming Frustration

         Most parents, if not all, begin to dream and aspire for their children as soon as they were born. It would begin to wanting their children to be healthy, to be good persons, to finish school, to be successful in whatever they would go into when they become adults. To sum it all up, parents simply want all the best for their children.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Autism and Acceptance

             My son C showed significant delay in his development as early as 10 months of age. At that age, he manifested loss of previously learned skills like glancing when his name is called, waving bye-bye and a few other baby skills. Until he turned two years old with unintelligible speech and extremely hyperactive. Not long after, we brought him to a developmental pediatrician who after an hour or so of evaluation, confirmed that he has autism spectrum disorder (for autism tell tale signs, go to Autism Tell Tale ). That sad day occurred eight years ago. My son is now ten years old. But whenever I recall that day in our life, my eyes still become teary. I still can feel that lump in my throat.  That doesn't mean I still have not learned to accept the fact that my son is on the spectrum. I have long accepted that. I guess parents would never stop feeling hurt when their child is affected with life long disorder or any condition that will have tremendous effects on the quality of life.


Saturday, November 1, 2014

Conquering the Odds of Handwriting

        Most children with autism attend special education class with an individualized curriculum. They may eventually be transitioned to attend regular school depending on their cognitive abilities and developmental progress in terms of behavior. One huge determinant if a child is ready to be mainstreamed to a regular class is his handwriting. Would he be capable of  copying what is written on the board; or answer written examinations? This is one common problem faced by a special learner in the traditional school setting in the Philippines.
        Handwriting is a complex fine motor skill that requires eye and hand coordination.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Discovering One's Self Through Sports

         A lot has been said about how beneficial sports can be once you get into it. Getting into sports can strengthen the immune system and will certainly make one physically fit. The more important benefits one can derive in engaging in sports are mostly intangible, but becomes innate in one's mind and heart that will translate into becoming a better person. Not necessarily a champion in the chosen sport, but a champion in life.
        Sports is not exclusive to the typical members of the population. There are sports events that celebrate the talents of the differently abled. Although sports demand physical, emotional and  mental strength, talented differently abled individuals have proved they can play and win; lose in a game and still manage to stand with the head up high.
        Engaging into a sport for a person challenged with autism may not be that easy. Considering the fact these persons may  have behavioral and sensory issues; some lack the ability to speak or easily comprehend spoken language, learning to participate in a sports activity may be quite toilsome. Those thoughts occurred in my mind when I read a notice from my son's school about a Softball Clinic. I was hesitant in the beginning but eventually decided to let my son join and have the experience of playing softball.
        Softball is played in a large, open field and requires the skill of throwing and catching a ball, batting and running . Learning the basics of the game may be arduous to someone with poor waiting skill and impulse control; with poor eye and hand coordination; and speech and  language impairment. It is more challenging for those with difficulty in controlling sensory input. Like for instance being overwhelmed when given a series of instructions on what to do; affected by loud or unusual sound; poor sense of  balance and  perception of space making them move clumsily bumping into persons and objects or refuse to move fast (like running);
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