Alyana Reached Out to 108 Barangay Day Care Workers, DLSU-Dasma Students and Parents of Children with AutismMarch 5, 2015
108 Barangay day care workers from 108 Day care centers of the City of Dasmariñas in Cavite under the City Social Welfare and Development Office headed by Ms. Rosalita Abuan, RSW attended a Seminar on Early Detection of Children with Autism last February 17. Autism Society of the Philippines-Dasmariñas City Chapter president Jan Peña enlightened the captive audience about autism.
It was followed by the showing of “Alyana— A Study of Autism in the Philippines” which further helped them understand what autism is based on testimonials not only of mothers of children with autism, but also those who are working for their welfare such as a developmental pediatrician, and sped teachers. As always, the film touched some people in the audience. Alyana by the way is my grandniece…In the afternoon of the same day, I was dropped by the DSWD group to De La Salle University-Dasma to show the film to College of education students, especially those who are taking up sped education, parents and relatives of children with autism, and some professors. The film viewing was held at Felipe Calderon Hall.
When the lights were switched on, I was an eyewitness to seeing almost all the parents of children with autism [CWA] wiping their tears after viewing the film. Nakasakay daw sila with all the moms who gave their testimonies. If I were in their shoes, I would understandably be touched by the segment on Denial and Acceptance, especially so, if the viewer has a newly-diagnosed child with autism. At the same time, they must have felt good somehow in seeing that they are not alone. In fact, they must have felt luckier because there are support groups like ASP, and there are expert doctors, not psychiatrists who are attending to their children’s needs. Parents of CWAs in the 80’s up to the 90’s had to go to psychiatrists for treatment.
It is March. When I was doing the film I was targeting to have it shown during the International Women’s Film Festival at the UP Film Center. As I featured mothers of CWA’s, I thought I would show it as my personal tribute to them. For a couple of years I have failed for I took so long to finish it! I had no camera when I decided to work on it. I just borrowed from friends. It became sort of a challenge eventually as hurdle after hurdle came my way. Anyhow, with perseverance, I finally finished the film after two-and-a-half years and have it shown not during the Women’s month which I targeted but in July 2006. Nevertheless, I still succeeded in showing its shortest version at last during the Women’s International day the following year. From then on, up until now, it continues to show. In fact, I received today another invitation to show it — for the third time at Dasmariñas City under the auspices of the super-active DSWD of the city.
The documentary is dedicated to parents whose unconditional love for their children never ceases… to all others who are working for their welfare, and of course, to all persons with autism so that our society would embrace them like anyone else in this world.