Break the Stigma: Here We Grow Again!
Autism is a term used to describe a wide range of conditions that involve difficulties in social interaction, communication, and behavior. While the condition can have a huge impact on people's lives, it is important to remember that everyone with autism is unique, and that it can be both a challenge and a gift. As we move forward to the future, the Persons with Disability Affairs Office contributes as we build an autism-ok Philippines by conducting a seminar about autism. The seminar was first facilitated by Mrs. Anna Madonna Arellano, Guidance Counselor of Polytechnic University of the Philippines San Juan Branch. It was attended by six delegates from San Juan City Academic Senior High School, six delegates from San Juan City Technical Vocational Livelihood Senior High School, and two sections from the 2nd Year Bachelor of Science in Psychology students of Polytechnic University of the Philippines San Juan Branch.
At its heart, autism is a neurological condition in which the brain processes information differently than it does in those without autism. People with autism often have difficulty understanding social cues and engaging with others, and may struggle with sensory overload. Ms. Arellano had an open forum where she had asked a few of the students who have a close relative that has autism, and what their experiences are with them. With the right support and understanding, people with autism can have fulfilling lives and make valuable contributions to society. Mrs. Anjie Pabilona, Assistant Guidance Counselor of Polytechnic University of the Philippines San Juan Branch, also shared some of her knowledge about how to deal with people with autism since she had a student before that was diagnosed with autism.
There is still so much to learn about autism, and it is important to raise awareness of the condition. By increasing understanding of autism, it is possible to reduce stigma and create a more inclusive world. As Ms. Pia Cabañero, guest speaker, and Ms. Possibility 2018 said, “Ang mga taong may autismo ay tao rin.”
Ms. Pia herself, is diagnosed with autism since she was a child. She discussed how many people suffer both diagnosed and undiagnosed since taking care of people with autism has a different approach when dealing with them. She shared her experiences as a child with autism and how her parents helped her through it despite not knowing how to properly take care of her when she was a child. She discussed how in order to raise awareness of autism; it is important to talk about it. This can be done through sharing stories about people with autism, hosting events and spreading the word about charities and organizations that support those with autism.
Ultimately, when it comes to autism, the most important thing is to offer understanding, acceptance, and empowerment. Autism can be a challenge, but it should never be viewed as a barrier to success. With the right support, people with autism can lead full and meaningful lives. The Person with Disability Affairs Office Head Mrs. Maria Theresa Deborah P. De Paz, aims that the City of San Juan be a PWD-friendly City. With commitment to advocacy, acceptance, and empowerment, education champions can make a real difference in the lives of those living with autism spectrum disorder.
Article written by:
Cristine Francel Pimentel
San Juan City Academic SHS - Teacher I