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Angels in our midst: Celebrating World Autism Awareness Day

Posted by Atty. K on April 2, 2015 in Uncategorized |

“The celebration of World Autism Awareness Day is our yearly reminder that autism is real and in our midst. We simply cannot close our eyes to the fact that everyone has to act and do something for the welfare of persons with autism, whether you are a parent, a relative, a teacher, a community worker, a doctor, a therapist, a government leader, a legislator or simply as a human being that cares for persons with ASD.”


Jane Ann Gonzales,

Advocate/Core Member of the Autism Society Philippines &

Directress of Independent Living Learning Centre (ILLC) Davao



By Ernesto C. Perez II



Photo: CARE/David Rochkind, Design: Kim Conger


Every year on April 2, we celebrate World Autism Awareness Day. This day was declared as such by the United Nations General Assembly in 2008 in order “to highlight the need to improve the quality of life of children and adults, who are affected by autism, so they can lead full and meaningful lives.”

Autism is short for Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). It is a poor taste of words when you call adults or children diagnosed with ASD as “autistics”. The politically correct terminology is “persons with autism.”

There is a growing number of families in the Philippines who have children diagnosed with ASD. Today is the most appropriate time to tell this nation what ASD or autism is all about. The following paragraphs are based on the book authored by Stephen B. Edelson, M.D., entitled “Conquering Autism: Reclaiming Your Child Through Natural Therapies.”

Autism is still recognized and diagnosed almost exclusively through its behavioral symptoms. In young children the signs of the disorder are puzzling but distinctly recognizable – behaviour such as rocking, recoiling from being touched or held, becoming fixated on a particular object, toe walking, hand flapping, tantrums, an obsessive desire for sameness, and a fear of even the smallest change in the environment.

For a person with ASD, social interactions are never easy, and may require mastering a set of skills that don’t come naturally. Therefore, the next time you are seated beside a family with a child who exhibits the recognizable signs listed above, in a restaurant or other public places, please don’t judge that the parents cannot discipline their child properly. What the family needs is understanding and support – not rude stares or uninformed suppositions.

However, it is interesting that in the United States, about 1 in 10 people with ASD displays exceptional abilities in skills such as art or memorization of numbers or names. Perhaps 1 in 100 are identified as savants because of their remarkable abilities.

Intriguingly, if a child begins to recover from the debilitating symptoms of autism through treatment, these exceptional abilities seem to disappear along with the illness, according to Dr. Edelson.

But most importantly, a diagnosis of ASD can be the beginning of a long struggle and challenge for a child’s parents, who must watch their son or daughter retreat into a mysterious and lonely world they cannot enter.

Parents must endure daily tantrums, obsessive behaviours, special education programs, endless trips to developmental pediatricians as well as speech and behavioral therapists. The outcome of these therapeutic efforts is never guaranteed. In severe cases, children with ASD may never be able to function on their own, while those with milder cases of ASD may go on to have independent and productive lives as adults.

Dr. Edelson said that autism is a neurobiological disorder, an illness that involves multiple organ systems. According to him, this disorder is triggered by toxic injury during a crucial window of neurological development.

And, as scientific research advances there may be a cure in the near future for ASD. This cure is the light at the end of the tunnel for children and adults diagnosed with ASD, including the parents and primary caregivers.

Meanwhile, living with a child diagnosed with ASD is a constant challenge. Yet, it reminds us of God’s infinite love for everyone of his creation. That despite such struggles, God is always there providing constant blessings to both children and parents.

Children diagnosed with ASD are angels living in our midst, granted they may need more attention, love and understanding. But, we should likewise extend that love and understanding to the parents and caregivers who live and care for these angels.

Happy World Autism Awareness Day!!



Atty. Ernesto C. Perez II is Managing Partner in PEREZ VALENCIA & PEREZ Law Firm in Madrigal Business Park, Muntinlupa City which was established in October 2001. His main areas of practice cover the laws on succession, property, real estate, community associations, private corporations and renewable energy.

He is the Chief Entrepreneurial Officer of REALTTORNEY PROFESSIONAL REALTY SERVICES, a real estate firm based in Cavite. His website www.realttorney.com provides insights and useful information to real estate service practitioners, as well as current and future homeowners about the real estate industry in the Philippines.

He is also Atty. K’s better half and partner in raising 2 (soon to be 3) wonderful kids, one of whom was recently diagnosed with ASD.



Posted by Atty. K on July 26, 2014 in CHANGE THE WORLD |

Last week, I came across a friend’s post in a social media site stating that she has participated in a “pay it forward” chain. Possibly inspired by the 2000 film carrying the same title as the novel it was based on, this chain urges people to send surprises to friends who are supposed to pass […]


Kasambahay Law Series: Part 3 – Online Registrations and Saturday Office Hours give you 3 less excuses

Posted by Atty. K on June 18, 2013 in LEGAL CORNER |

In a previous post, I showed sample computations and pay slips for your kasambahay. Here is a summary for the other salary brackets, as promised:   SALARY SSS PHIL HEALTH PAG-IBIG TOTAL PREMIUMS TOTAL EXPENSE OF EMPLOYER 2,000 218 150 80 448 2,448 2,500 270 150 100 520 3,020 3,000 312 175 120 607 3,607 3,500 […]


Kasambahay Law Series: Part 2 – Why do you need to have a pay slip for your kasambahay?

Posted by Atty. K on June 10, 2013 in LEGAL CORNER |

I remember the first time I received a pay slip. I was 2 years out of college and we were invited to be among the field enumerators for a project of the Development Academy of the Philippines (yes, your government finds ways of making your iskolars work for you). It was a short stint anyway […]


Kasambahay Law Series: Part 1 – Are you ready to give these mandated benefits to your household help?

Posted by Atty. K on June 9, 2013 in LEGAL CORNER |

For most mothers and homemakers, “It’s hard to get good help these days” could vie for the title of greatest understatement of the decade. We’ve all had our share of first hand encounters so I will not belabor the point anymore. After the lies, the theft, the broken appliances, the headache, the numerous replacement requests […]


“I have much more to tell you, but you cannot bear it now.” (John 16:12)

Posted by Atty. K on May 8, 2013 in BIBLE REFLECTIONS |

May 8, 2013 I am somewhat in the middle of a “quarter life crisis.” I have always thought how good it must be for others who have always known exactly what they wanted to do/be when they grew up, while I struggled to make sense of what I was put here on earth for. Like […]


Our Preschooler’s First School Field Trip, Part Two: Asociacion De Damas Filipinas, Manila Ocean Park

Posted by Atty. K on March 6, 2013 in FAMILY ADVENTURES |

After filling our stomachs and minds in the Gardenia Plant and the Mind Museum, we still looked forward to the other items in the day’s itinerary. Some kids took their lunch inside the bus on the way to our next stop: Asociacion De Damas Filipinas (orphanage) in Paco, Manila. I was looking forward to my […]


Our Preschooler’s First School Field Trip, Part One: Gardenia Plant, Mind Museum

Posted by Atty. K on February 28, 2013 in FAMILY ADVENTURES |

Last November 29, 2012, my daughter joined her first field trip with her pre-school classmates. The mommies seemed more excited than the kids who had no idea what was in store for them. At the same time, some of us were apprehensive about tending to and chasing after our overly eager kids on a 1:1 […]


How come Jesus isn’t talking?

Posted by Atty. K on January 1, 2013 in BABY TALK |

  Photo by midiman My three-year old daughter asked that question out of the blue the other month. She was looking at the image of Jesus in the bedroom, and was probably wondering how come unlike her other interactive toys, this particular image is silent all the time. If you have a toddler, you know […]


Motherhood IS a process of continuing education

Posted by Atty. K on December 18, 2012 in RESOURCES |

         Photo by Robert Whitehead   Most professions require yeeeears of training, and rigorous examinations before a candidate is admitted to its practice.  This is especially true where the lives and limbs of people are at stake. Yet when it comes to the profession that deals not just with the health, safety, […]


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