The Filipino attitude towards Autism Spectrum Disorder

Our radio show “the PWDPhil Hour” has had several guests and calls from listeners, many of them sharing their experiences through our segment #myPWDstory which is also available to them online through our Facebook page (http://facebook.com/PWDPhil)

One of the most eye-opening incidents on the show was when we were airing yesterday (Sept 24, 2017), one of our texters asked the question “… ang taong nasiraan ng ulo aksep po ba yan sa PWD autism din po ba yan…?” To me this question raised two points: One, is that the general attitude about mental disorders, the average Filipino will just chalk it up to “sira ulo” and all the other negative stereotypes that go with the label.

And two, that mental disorders are not considered as a medical condition by the average Filipino. Many Pinoys believe that mental disorders are conditions that the sufferers can just wake up one Jday and snap out of it. It is this belief that make the life of mental disorder sufferers and people with autism very difficult and almost impossible to endure.

Opportunities for school and work often available to non-disabled children are practically non-existent for children with autism. Most of the time they are left to the care of institutions, individuals and relatives, oftentimes considered a burden to both the state and the primary caretakers. We at the Organization for Pinoys with Disabilities Inc. do not believe this. Children with autism deserve treatment and understanding because they are, above all, children too, autism or not.

Filipinos must realize that “crazy people” are not that way by choice. This is the same with sufferers of autism. It is not something they have chosen to become or a result of bad parenting. It may be genetic but it may also be negligence on the part of the mother during her pregnancy. Those who have been known to have been heavily drinking, smoking or using recreational drugs during pregnancy are said to have offspring suffering from autism, cerebral palsy and other birth-borne conditions. During one of our radio shows, a gynecologist named Dr. Rebecca Singson reiterated the need for pregnant mothers to watch what they eat and stick to organic food, consciously avoiding processed food like hotdogs, cakes and the like as these can trigger a plethora of medical conditions that might adversely affect both mother and child.

Please do tune in to our radio program “the PWDPhil Hour” for more information on how you can help prevent such conditions for your child. If you are already the caregiver of a person with disabilities, do tune in and join the conversation so we can get you the help you need by guesting doctors, audiologists, psychiatrists and even developmental pediatricians. The PWDPhil Hour airs every Saturday and Sunday. 12:30 pm to 2:00 pm over DZRB 738 KHz AM Radyo Pilipinas 1.

One thought on “The Filipino attitude towards Autism Spectrum Disorder

  • September 29, 2017 at 3:54 am
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    Good day!
    I would like to ask if it’s okay to qualify an ASD child as a “mental disability”? I ask because that was written on my child’s PWD ID when I got it yesterday. I t did not sink in until I got home. Categorizing my child with a mental disorder is for me is very offensive. I remember when I filled up the application form and did not find the correct category for my son and wrote the word “AUTISM” in the upper right of the listed categories. Therefore, they did not used it as per what I wrote. Do you think that I could request another ID to correct the term used?

    Reply

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