BUHAY PAMILYA, SI BUNSO AT ANG AUTISM!!!

I have heard of Autism before when I was in college. Syempre as nursing graduate, nadaanan namin yan. Pero never ko naimagine na I will deal with it at sa mismong family ko pa.

Sabi ko nga sa mga previous blogs ko, I’m a dad of 2 boys. My eldest grew up like a normal child. Masayahin, madaldal at super smart. I have seen my eldest’s milestones first hand. Nakita ko kung pano siya dumapa, gumapang, maglakad, magsalita at kung ano ano pa.

After 2 years, here comes my youngest. On his 1st year, everything seems normal naman. I did not see any sign na may mali habang lumalaki siya. Physical milestones, walang problema. Dumapa, gumapang, umupo at lumakad siya sa tamang buwan. But speech, dun medyo delay talaga.

On his 1.5 years, parang dun nag start ung tinatawag na regression. Nag stop ung intellectual milestone niya. Although di naman ako naalarma at hinayaan ko lang. Hanggang sa mag 2 years old siya at di pa rin siya nag sasalita. May mga red flags ng autism  na rin kami napansin sa kanya like sa eye contact saka yung tipong hahawakan niya pa kamay mo pag may gusto siyang ipakuha. That’s the time na narealize ko na teka, parang may mali talaga. Kaya we decided na patingnan siya sa isang developmental pediatrician.

Mahirap magpa appoint sa isang dev ped that time pero nakapag pa appoint naman kami sa isang doktor na nagki-clinic sa Lucena City. Syempre that time, we were so anxious. At the back of my mind, I was hoping na developmental delay lang pero it turns out na ASD na nga or Autism Spectrum Disorder.  Medyo in denial pa kami mag-asawa pareho nung una. Nag worry kami sa kung anong magiging future ng bunso namin. Andaming “what ifs” sa isipan namin pareho. Pero bilang magulang, we need to be strong. We need to be positive. I know it won’t be easy pero we both know na kakayanin namin lahat para sa kanila.

Fast forward, my youngest is now turning five this November 2021. During the 3-year period of taking care of him, we experience ups and downs of his gift. Allow me to call his condition as a “gift”.

Now, the question is, is it a burden for the family or is it more of a blessing?

If you are going to look at his gift in a negative perspective, for sure you always see and will reflect on the downside. Having a child with special needs in your family is not an easy task to deal with.  Bakit kamo? Well kailangan mo lang naman ng milyong pasensya. Hindi biro ang mag-alaga ng anak na may Autism because they have repetitive behaviors na uubos ng pasensya mo. For example, they have this compulsive & repetitive behavior with the doors. Isasara at isasara nila ang pintuan ng kwarto ng bahay niyo na naka-open. Ok lang sana kung isasara niya lang ng dahan-dahan pero minsan, may kasama pang pag-darag ng pinto na para bang mawawasak ang door knobs at mismong pintuan sa lakas ng impact saka ilo-lock niya muna bago niya isara. Kaya dapat accessible mga duplicate keys always kasi baka di na mabuksan ang pinto. That applies to all doors actually. Pintuan ng kitchen cabinet, closets, ref, etc. Magugulat ka na lang may bigla na lang lalagabog sa bahay niyo.

In addition, kids like my youngest do not recognize danger. He will unplug any appliance outlet plug or yung saksak ng tv or electric fan which puts him more risk to electrocution.  Pag di mo sila binantayan at sinaway, baka magulat ka na lang nangisay na sa isang tabi ang anak mo. Talagang makukulit sila at minsan pag sinaway mo sila, lalo pa nilang gagawin. Diyan kailangan si patience, literal na patience. Aminado ako madalas napapalo ko ang anak ko, nagagalitan, napagsasabihan. Sorry naman tao lang, paminsan minsan ay may mga pagkakataon na di mo na talaga kakayanin kakulitan nila.

He’s now four turning five years old and he still does not speak any clear and understandable word. Physically wala siyang problema, he is normal at his age. He is very active and plays normally. Socially and intellectually, dun siya mejo off talaga. Compare to normal kids at his age, dun siya talagang late. During his 3rd year, we also sent him sa isang Therapy center to start with his behavioral therapy.  May nakita naman kaming konting improvements sa kanyang behavior. The only problem is may kamahalan ang gastos. For a 1-hr session, it costs Php 500.00. Medyo may kalayuan pa yung  Therapy Center sa bahay namin, around 2-hr drive and hindi biro ung ginagastos weekly kasi considering other expenses like food and gas and take note, he is supposed to have 3 sessions per week. Nadala naman namin siya for few months, hanggang sa pumutok nga si COVID-19 and eventually nagkaroon ng series of quarantines hanggang sa natakot na rin kami for the health and safety ng anak namin kaya na-stop ung pagpasok niya.

I met a parent during one of my son’s therapy session and he shared me his feelings about his twins conditions. Yes, kambal na babae yung anak nia and sabay nilang mag asawa pinapa-therapy yung mga bata. Malungkot siya at nag aalala para sa kambal niya. Mga babae pa naman daw. Ramdam ko yung lungkot, frustration, at stress sa kaniya. Alam ko kasi ang pakiramdam ng ganun. Kung magpo-focus ka sa negative, talagang malulungkot ka sa mga nararanasan mo sa buhay mo. Bakit anak ko pa? Will he be able to cope up? Pano na lang siya pag tanda niya? Usual questions ng parent na sobrang nag aalala para sa future ng anak niya.

Looking on the brighter side….

Lahat naman siguro ng parent ay gusto lahat ng makabubuti para sa anak nila at as much as possible, lumaki silang normal gaya ng ibang bata. Caring for a child with special needs for us is definitely a blessings. For me, my son is not special, he is extraordinary. I know he may show behaviors na kakaiba sa ginagawa ng normal na bata but that doesn’t  mean he won’t be able to do the things na ginagawa ng isang normal na bata. He may be late especially sa intellectual milestones pero he’s coping up and can imitate things na dapat ay nagagawa na niya sa edad niya. Kailangan lang niya ma-train, maxpose at masanay para madevelop yung normal habits na nararapat para sa edad niya.

For parents out there na nakakaramdam ng pagkalungkot at pag-alala, please cheer up. Always focus on the positive side and not the negative ones. Be grateful God has given you the chance to become a parent. Maraming couple diyan ang nahihirapan bumuo at magkaroon ng sariling pamilya. Yung iba ay talagang hindi na biniyayaan ng sariling anak. Ikaw, napaka swerte mo kasi may tumatawag sayo na daddy or mommy. Whatever God has given you, always be thankful and grateful. Kahit ano pa yan, negative or positive, whether problema, pagsubok, pagpapala or blessings pa yan. May dahilan ang mga bagay bagay. Di yan ibibigay sayo kung alam niyang di mo kakayanin. Alam ni God na kaya mo kaya niya pinaparanas sayo kung ano mang pinagdadaanan mo ngayon. Kaya always choose to be positive.

Life is boring if you’re always happy and you don’t experience negative feelings. Parang gulong lang yan na hindi sa lahat ng oras ay nasa taas ka, sometimes nasa baba ka rin. Minsan ko rin narinig kay Papa Jackson (DJ sa isang radio station) na “life is unfair which makes it fair for everyone”. Tama naman diba. Lahat tayo may pinagdadaanan sa buhay at nasasatin na yan kung pano natin didiskartehan ang mga bagay bagay.

Oh siya hanggang dito na lang muna. Sana’y naka-relate kayo kahit papano at may nakuhang insights sa aking sinulat. Stay safe everyone and kita kits sa mga susunod pang blog.

Dadi-G signing off!!!

Published by dadi-G

A husband, dad of 2 boys, licensed nurse and a corporate employee who loves writing. Always eager to learn new stuff, ideas, skills, wisdom that will make me a "madiskarteng tatay".

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