Tuesday, June 7, 2011


  I had always been getting a broken heart. It seemed as though it had always been a curse. I used to blame a lot of people for it; the people I've loved, the people I've cared for and the people who had hurt me -- but I was one who never complained. Overtime, I learned that blaming others would not make any difference at all; especially if I broke my heart for something that was entirely my choice. I thought that I had been through the worst heartbreak of my life -- until the day I realized, I was too clueless as to its real meaning.

        I've been subjected to a lot of pain and suffering. I've been disgraced, damned and condemned at one point. I've been left-out and hated - for reasons I never had known of. I've known the feeling of loneliness and regret -- and I learned to live with them. It's not always rainbows and butterflies- and that was something I had to learn the hard way. I've been through them all and I've tried my best to recover and survive, for I knew I still had the chance of turning things around. All those times, I wiped my tears and always took a step forward.

    But how could you get over something when it's never going away? How could you tell yourself that you could still fix something you can never have the chance to undo? How would you accept that you're helpless when you could not afford to give up? They said "when it rains, it pours",  I said "when it rains, somebody's gonna get wet".
        Her name's Sophia, meaning wisdom, and Athena, like the Goddess. I've had treasured her ever since she came into my life, and I've fallen in love with her the moment I first laid eyes on her. She'd brought out the best in me that I never knew existed. For once in my life I understood what true and unconditional love was. Truth be told, she managed to make me turn my life around. She gave meaning to my seemingly mundane life. She's my Goddess, my Sophia Athena.


        Just last week, a doctor said that Sophia needs to get therapy for her condition. She told us that Sophia seems to have ASD-- it broke my heart when I heard this. I couldn't believe it. I have been crying since that day and I am still having a difficulty accepting it up until now.

I couldn't discuss ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) really well because I never knew about its existence... until I heard that my daughter has it. I looked it up on the internet and as I read every word, I felt despair and hopelessness gnawing at my very soul. No. I couldn't believe it. God, why did it have to be her?
As stated by Wikipedia:

The autism spectrum or autistic spectrum describes a range of conditions classified as pervasive developmental disorders. Pervasive developmental disorders include autism, Asperger syndrome, pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS), childhood disintegrative disorder, and Rett syndrome, although usually only the first three conditions are considered part of the autism spectrum.These disorders are typically characterized by social deficits, communication difficulties, stereotyped or repetitive behaviors and interests, and in some cases, cognitive delays.Autism is characterized by delays or abnormal functioning before the age of three years in one or more of the following domains: (1) social interaction; (2) communication; and (3) restricted, repetitive, and stereotyped patterns of behavior, interests, and activities. Asperger syndrome can be distinguished from autism by the lack of delay or deviance in early language development. Additionally, individuals with Asperger syndrome do not have significant cognitive delays. An individual with Asperger syndrome typically demonstrates obsessive interest in a single topic or activity. Other symptoms include repetitive routines or rituals, peculiarities in speech and language, inappropriate affect or social behavior, problems with non-verbal communication, and clumsy or uncoordinated motor movements.

It is very hard to accept that my beautiful child has this condition. I remember dreaming of a perfect little girl when she was still inside my womb. But what can I do? I am not an expert who can say that the Developmental Pedia's diagnosis is wrong. I cannot accept this, but do I have any choice?

I took Sophia to a therapy center in Ortigas this morning. The Occupational Therapist observed how Sophia responded to her and tried to engage her in play. She was very careful in telling me that how Sophia fared showed that she has MILD AUTISM. I gagged. AUTISM!? And she was barely two years old! The OT was understanding enough to explain my daughter's condition to me and how therapy could possibly help her. She told me that it was really good that we found out about the condition early, since early intervention could mean a lot to her development. Reality struck me like a lightning bolt-- my daughter really has the condition and my only choice is to accept it.

I know this can happen to anyone. Sophia is not the only one who has ASD-- there are a lot of kids out there with this condition. My heart goes to every child and their parents. I now understand how much they are going through. Like them, I am not ashamed of my daughter's condition and I am not afraid to spread the awareness.
No need to wallow in tears. I should handle this without being miserable because my daughter depends on me and it is important that I'll be with her every step of the way.

They say you can only let go of the pain once you learn to accept. Maybe, I'm still in the denial stage-- I still feel the pain and the fear burning somewhere inside of me, but I know acceptance is something important in this case and I would have to do it for my daughter. Autism cannot be cured, it can only be treated, and that's what hurts the most, but that's also the reason why I should keep the faith and be stronger. One day I will wake up without the pain. One day I will wake up without the fear.

I will never give up on my daughter, ASD or no ASD, we're in this together.

Iya loves picture books

God, if I could have one wish.. I'd never ask of You to make her perfect. I'd ask of You to make her normal. Please.

(This post was originally published on www.acecapades.blogspot.com and has been moved after the creation of this blog site dedicated to SOPHIA. Thank you.)