The Autism Society Philippines (ASP) is a national, non-profit organization dedicated to the well-being of persons on the autism spectrum disorder. We envision a society where Filipinos on the spectrum become the best of their potentials -- self-reliant, independent, productive, socially-accepted citizens of an Autism-OK Philippines.

30 September 2010

ASP Diliman Chapter hosts Thanielle’s 18th Birthday

By: Atty. Rose Dacanay and Baby Tan, ASP Diliman Chapter

When Jo Palomares, our chapter president, opened the idea of a debut celebration for Thanielle, my 18 year old daughter with autism, I told Jo that I will contribute food, as a simple birthday treat for our next Parent Support Group meeting on September 3. But PSG moms have other plans and started brainstorming for ideas.

"Happy 18th Birthday Thanielle!"

“A regular debutante would at least have a party, probably with 18 roses, the cotillion, and dancing. Aside from our special debutante, how about including our special children?” Soon, with enthusiasm and excitement, suggestions from member moms kept pouring in.

Honestly, I was reluctant at first as Thanielle would be content and preferred going to Quantum, a video place for her birthday. But the moms assured me they wanted to celebrate with and for Thanielle, and the chapter agreed to jointly sponsor the party. I realized how much they cared for her. So, with joy in my heart, I set aside all anxieties and concentrated on the preparation.

With roughly two weeks to prepare, we sent each other email and text messages, coordinated on program numbers and assigned tasks. One week before the event, our group’s Basketball Program at the Napocor Court were cut short to give way for the cotillion dance practice.

Thanielle Turns 18!
September 18, we and our children trooped to the Napocor’s Fiesta Hall. We were all dressed to the nines. Our girls looked pretty in their party dresses. Our boys were handsome in their polos and long pants. And moms wore dresses keeping in with the party’s color theme, green or purple.

Malu Ortiz (with daughter Clarisse) captured all these precious moments.

Our debutant, Thanielle, came with her family and relatives. She looked lovely in her green one-shoulder cocktail dress. Ma-e, Thanielle’s grandmother pinned the corsage on her.

The birthday girl, Thanielle with Mom Baby

By now, our children were ready for the modified cotillion. So our children will not get bored while waiting for their waltz, cotillion was divided into three (3) groups of six (6) boys. Each took turns waltzing with Thanielle to the tune of The Blue Danube and Disney Princess Waltzes. At some point, she was already tired that she sat on her chair while waltzing with her partner. Later, Thanielle’s relatives also took part of the cotillion. The last waltz was for Thanielle and her Papa who gave her the 18th rose.

Guest enjoyed the delicious buffet lunch while watching an audio-visual presentation of Thanielle. Children also prepared special song numbers while others played piano pieces as their gift to the celebrant. For the Justin Bieber’s ‘Baby’ dance number, some of the boys who did not practice also jumped in to join the group. Later, moms danced with their sons as the waltz music played on.

Our special kids with siblings and Mom Telay dancing to Justin Beiber’s “BABY

As the program drew to a close, Thanielle blew her 18 candles, thanked everyone and expressed hope that her family, friends and our chapter will be with her as she faces more opportunities now.

“I celebrated my birthday in napocor. I am wearing green dress with one sleeveless and bare right shoulder. I am wearing headband and the crown is on the right side. I am wearing stockings with open toe and purple sandals and purple necklace. I laugh and I am happy when I blow the 18 candles. I cry and I am sad when I am afraid of making mistake and it was Mama’s fault. I danced 18 times. I ate lunch. I recited with the mike. I sang happy birthday. I am 18 years old.” – Thanielle.

We Share our Hopes with you. It’s time to Help us Build our Dreams. ASP- Diliman Chapter's next activity is the "Parent Support Group" and hopefully, "Sibling Workshop" for the Semestral break..


Unknown said...

Great!congratulations!specially to the parents,,you make her won the fight..

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