During the third day of the Philippine Pediatric Society Annual Convention 2015 on April 22, the organizers reserved a slot for a topic on developmental pediatrics. I guess this is one way to keep participants come to the very last day and not go to a tempting R and R during convention. Much more exciting is a "makabagbag damdamin" presentation cum personal sharing of a mother. The mother added flavor and spice to the lectures of two reputable developmental pediatricians in the persons of Dr. Rita de Guzman and Dr. Mimi Avancena. Their topics were on optimizing developmental health focusing on importance of language. As an attendee of this symposium I got refreshed from their lectures. But hey, that's the cognitive part.
Let me go back to the mother. She expounded on her journey as a parent to a noncommunicative autistic adolescent child of hers. She was emotional. Of course who would not? Getting the best speech therapist in the country for her dream to let Gio, her son, talk. It takes an affect to be inspired, a heart to be rekindled, and a mind to have the will for pediatricians and colleagues to be A-Ok. This mother is Dang Uy-Koe, an avid advocate, a passionate leader for ASP, a dear classmate of my husband and now my precious kumare in both inaanak and advocacies.
After leaving the symposium attendees didn't want to vacate their chairs. We were awed. We were struck. We were moved to do something. Why is there no clinic and hospital advocating for special children's privileges? The malls had their sensitivity trainings. The airlines had theirs as well. How about the hospital and clinic staff attending to our special children? Our patients have their own journey when they have their EEGs done or even a simple blood extraction when they get sick. Now is the time for our institutions to be A-Ok. Ask any Autism Society Philippines advocate. They will show us the way.
About the author: Edna Sarah Clemente-Morada, MD, FPPS, MHPEd. An ambulatory pediatrician practicing at The Medical City. She is Chair of the Medical Training Office, The Medical City"