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Gonzales: Autism awareness and advocacy begins at home

April 8, 2015

This is an article by Jane Ann Gonzales, a mother of a youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). She is an advocate/member of the Autism Society Philippines and Directress of Independent Living Learning Centre (ILLC) Davao, a center for teenagers and adults with special needs. For comments, please emailjaneanngonzales@yahoo.com)

I GOT a pleasant surprise from my youngest son, Joseph John. He asked me if he could write an article again about his Kuya Jan. The first time he wrote was on December 31, 2014 when I asked him about his thoughts on being a brother of a person with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

This time, he volunteered to write about his special brother, although he did not know what topic to discuss. As a parent, this act of a sibling is a demonstration of love and concern and it truly warms my heart to know that we have raised well our two younger children to accept their Kuya the way he is. Awareness, acceptance and advocacy for persons with ASD should actually start with the parents and siblings.

Again, I did not edit the work of my son, Joseph John, a 12-year-old boy who just graduated from Grade 6 at Ateneo de Davao University. His Kuya Jan, who is on the spectrum, is 22 years old.

-ooo-

My mother allowed me to write an article for her column, Rated “A”. She gave me five questions to answer:

  1. How is Kuya Jan as a responsible person in the household?
  2. How is Kuya Jan as a funny person in the household?
  3. How is Kuya Jan as a brother to me?
  4. How is Kuya Jan talented?
  5. How is Kuya Jan a young man at home and in public?

To read Joseph John’s answer to Mom Jane’s questions, please click to read the full article, :
http://www.sunstar.com.ph/davao/opinion/2015/04/08/gonzales-autism-awareness-and-advocacy-begins-home-401376

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