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.

17 April 2010

Keeping My Sanity Intact

By: Gina Bermudo, ASP Trustee

Raising children with autism, along with other disabilities, is full of struggles and challenges. Having devices to navigate me through the autism journey helps me face every struggle head on. Below are my collections.


Take short breaks


During the day, I give all my time to my two special kids, without compromise. My schedule revolves around theirs. Facing those daily tasks can be overwhelming. So in between schedules, I have short breaks, even for a few minutes. This helps me condition myself mentally and physically. Then, I am recharged for the next activity or challenge. My children help me manage time wisely.


Multi-task


I learned to master the art of multi-tasking: driving the car while singing nursery rhymes with my son; reading a book while rocking one son to sleep and stroking the hair of my other son; sipping tea, while listening to the numerous requests of my kids. The list goes on and on. My children enabled me to accomplish these things using all parts of my body and senses.


Develop a “multiple personality”


To my sons, I am a mommy 24/7. After school, I become a therapist and a teacher to my children. During break time, I become a playmate to them. When they fight, I become their referee. For their biomedical needs, I become a researcher. When they are in trouble, I become their guidance counselor. When they are hungry, I become a chef. I have evolved into different people because of them.


Maintaining a sense of humor


In the most trying times, I try not to internalize the negative effects of my challenges. I look at the positive side, and humor myself about my current situation. This de-stresses me a lot. My sons taught me to laugh, even at the corniest jokes.


Learning to pray


We pray for patience. We pray for provision of a stable and happy environment. We pray for strength to face the challenges with open arms. We pray for guidance to take the right path in everything we do. In the most trying times, I feel like giving up. My faith has sustained me. The Son of God suffered for me. Who am I to complain?


Quality time with my husband


My journey is not complete without the presence and support of a loving travel companion, my husband. He is my pillar and source of inspiration. Without him, I won't be able to handle my struggles with autism. I thank God for husband who supports me in everything I do, without hesitation. I will drop everything to be with him when he arrives from work and never forget to be a wife for him.


Taking care of myself


They say “vanity, thy name is woman”, but for me, there is a dividing line between being vain and being presentable. I take good care of my physical appearance.


I used to work for an international airline and was exposed to different nationalities. Some of my colleagues look like supermodels, blond and blue eyed. Some are dark skinned and exotic looking.


But I truly believe that all women are beautiful. A neat appearance and flawless skin – universal and constant, defines her beauty. Have this two and you can get away with everything... I mean almost everything! With or without special kids, this is the area of my life that I will never neglect.


What our children have taught us


"Niko and Xandi turned out to be more than a gift –they are our blessing. Unconditional love and purity of heart are their two greatest gifts. We learned to appreciate the little blessings we used to neglect.


Niko and Xandi touched our hearts and changed our lives. They taught us to look beyond autism. They taught us that the autism journey is a priceless gift waiting to be unwrapped."


In taking the autism journey, we must have a beautiful beginning. This is called acceptance. With acceptance, we can move forward easily. With acceptance, we can navigate life’s challenges. And with acceptance we can attain our goals.


Niko and Xandi taught us to reflect and put everything into proper perspective - that life has a purpose. This purpose also serves as an instrument for us to motivate others to overcome their struggles.


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About the author: Gina Luna Bermudo, is producer and composer of “Mga Awiting Alay sa Autismo,” a compilation of heartfelt compositions inspired by Niko (14) and Xandi (11), her two boys on the spectrum. “Kaya Ko Rin” was made into MTV for the 10th National Conference on Autism. Her CD was also mentioned and featured in Forum Asia Magazine of LA, California USA. Gina is a former international flight attendant and is instrumental in educating Cebu Pacific Air about PWD passengers’ rights. She now serves as ASP Trustee from 2010-2012.


ASP works hard for the future of children with autism. Be an Angel for Autism. Buy your copy of “Mga Awiting Alay sa Autismo” by calling 926-6941 or 9298447. Part of the proceeds of the CD will help ASP programs and services. For more information email us at autismphil@pldtdsl.net or visit our community website.

1 comments:

chucodel said...

Thank you so much for the article love it and need it...full of encouragement and inspiration. Thanks again.

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