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.

13 April 2018

Autism Unfiltered

Let me tell you my unfiltered story.

When I was younger, I remember experiencing emotional and physical pain -- like feeling uncared for, falling to the floor as I was seated in the crib, and being smacked on the hands with a stick. I was four years old when I was initially diagnosed at the Philippine General Hospital as hyperactive. I was seven when I had a series of evaluations and tests at the Philippine Children’s Medical Center. It all ended up with an autism diagnosis.

I disclosed my disability during that time when I was still studying. I graduated in a private Christian school; but I still have "attitudes" here and there, as the years went by. I enrolled and studied in a private college, but I dropped out in January 2011. I pursued finding a job; but I had no callbacks in all jobs that I applied for -- retail, fastfood, radio stations, among others. To be honest, madlang people, I felt bullying, not only in school; but also outside.

But I choose to enjoy life as an independent man. I have traveled all by myself -- enjoying events at BGC, SMX, MOA, World Trade Center, Splash Island -- watched free movies with my mom, visited radio stations to claim prizes, etcetera. But all this is not enough.

During the first week of September, my adoptive sister and BFF, Virginia, referred me to the Autism Society Philippines. It was the first time I heard of them; but soon, knowing about them gave me an overwhelming sense of joy and excitement. I visited their website and Facebook page; and as I scanned their posts, I found that they were having an open house activity for Autism Works program at their National Headquarters. I searched the map and on 16 September 2017, I walked from Timog Avenue all the way to 11th Jamboree; where the people welcomed me. On the same day, I had exams and a hot seat interview with the National President Mona Magno-Veluz. It was all a welcome experience!

I asked God when the perfect time to tell the people about my situation. And on November 26, 2017, during an anniversary of our community, I declared that I was diagnosed with Autism; and earned big respect. Thanks to the people around me, this paved the way to prepare for the "real world" -- work and adult life. Outside of my daily grind, I am an expert when it comes to developing audio-visual contents, and blog posts on my activities and issues/concerns on our country.

I am nearing my 27th year, and what a joyride it has been -- from zero to a modern hero! Falling in with the ranks of those in the autism spectrum has been an emotional journey. I have met others like me -- boys who have different strengths and challenges.

Madlang people, I know that having autism does not mean your life is over. God has plans in store for you.

About the contributor. Rexdel Mallari is an autism self-advocate who is passionate about creating web content. If he isn't working at SM Markets as a Retail Sales Associate, he develops videos about his travels and writes a blog called "Kuya Rexdel Diaries". This article first appeared at http://bit.ly/2F3yhqz.

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