Friday, January 18, 2013

17th National Autism Consciousness Week

The 17th National Autism Consciousness Week, which will be officially observed on January 20 - 27 as set by the Autism Society Philippines, banks on the theme: "Autismo Alamin: Pagtanggap at Pag-unawa Palaganapin."

Click to view large size. Banner courtesy of Autism Society Philippines.
Having been a teacher of children with autism for two years before moving to the public system, I have always been asked by people who get to know my previous work. While it is good to know that I get to correct their wrong perceptions, it only proved that the society is still misinformed, and even unaware, about autism.

One of the misconceptions that people usually think is that autism as a mental and emotional disorder. While the actions of children with autism may suggest that they have behavioral and social impairments, autism is actually developmental condition, which means that it is biological in nature affecting the brain's development.

There is a metaphor I always use to compare the child with autism when explaining. Imagine the brain activities of the child with autism as having a traffic in the road. A traffic does not necessarily mean that the road is broken in the same way that the brain of the child is damaged. The brain of the child does not only processes properly.

How I wish there would be more SpEd schools and programs in our city - both public and private - until such time that autism and other disabilities would draw serious understanding and full acceptance. I believe that social responsibility can be achieved if there will be individuals and institutions that will be willing to move for this cause.

As for me, I might not be practicing my experience in handling children with autism as of the moment although I would love to if ever there will be an opportunity for it, but I know that in my own little way I am continuing to propagate the seeds of autism awareness by replacing those commonly twisted beliefs with right ones. 

Little act such as this, if we all would be doing it, the world would be a lot better for all - regardless of whatever condition, status, position one has.

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