The Autism Society Philippines (ASP) is a national, non-profit organization dedicated to the well-being of persons with autism spectrum disorder. The ASP has been in the forefront of providing services and training to families living with autism.

06 October 2009

Thara Marie Santiago - "The Autism Diva"

Thara was born healthy on Nov 13, 1994. When Thara was learning to crawl, she loved listening to music. On her third birthday, she still couldn’t say a word, not even mama or papa. Concerned for her being non-verbal, she was then brought to Dr. Lazaro, a developmental pediatrician. Thara was diagnosed to have autism.

Soon after her diagnosis, Thara started going to Divinelink School in BiƱan, Laguna. She received proper intervention, care and support. She learned to talk a little, say what she wanted.

At age 4, her mother discovered that Thara’s loved to sing. She belted out and sang in tune. She pretended to be the singers at the MTV, as if she is the one singing.
After two years, the school closed down. She transferred to Wise Kids Learning Center San Pedro, Laguna. And a year later, she came to G.S. Option House.

It was not easy for her at first, but at G.S. Option House, Thara had all the help she needed. Thara’s speech improved and spoke what was on her mind. And in a year’s time, she was mainstreamed in a regular class.

“The school brought out the genius in her. Her talents are harnessed. She makes our heart grow bigger and bigger,” says her mom.

Now at 14, Thara chooses her own songs during performances. She sees to it that she gives her best. Her dreams of becoming a Broadway singer and actress are not far away.

When asked, “Why do you like to sing?” She gave a straight forward answer, “I like singing because it makes me feel relaxed when I have tantrums.”

Thara is known as ASP’s “Autism Diva”. She supports Autism Society Philippines Angels Walk for Autism, AutisMusical during the World Autism Awareness Day and Fun Day ng Batang May K during the NDPR Week Celebrations.

It does not matter what disability you have for as long as you are accepted and loved by others.

Thara believes in the difference she makes. She inspires other children with special needs and gives them hope to do better and be better.


Enjoy watching Thara during her performance at the Skydome of SM North, EDSA

2 comments:

p.adrian said...

She really sings well. Her mom must be very proud of her.More power to you Thara.

Gitz said...

I am proud of Thara!

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