Autism Awareness: 3 Celebrities Who Have Been Open About Family Members with Autism
These celebrities have been open about the challenges of having children or siblings with autism and have used their platforms to spread awareness.
Autism or autism spectrum disorder (ASD) according to Autism Speaks is a broad condition that challenges the aspects of social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech, and nonverbal communication. Children born with ASD vary—hence one experience is not the same. In recent years, more people have been creating awareness of the condition. This includes celebrities whose children or siblings may have the condition. Here are three celebrities who have shared their stories about members of their families having autism.
Celebrities Who Spread Awareness on Autism
Kris Aquino on son Joshua
Kris Aquino in many interviews has discussed the challenges of raising her son Joshua. He was diagnosed with autism as a young boy. In a conversation with one of her followers in 2018, Kris was asked why she never was a spokesperson for Autism Awareness. The Queen of all Media said that she’s not the best person for it.
“I’m being 100% honest. Kuya Josh has had the best intervention possible because I had the financial means,” she said.
In another conversation, Kris shared that Joshua has been bullied enough. He was called names such as “abnoy” and “mongoloid.” Thus, she limits posts of Joshua on social media.
Not a punching bag
In a March 4, 2021 post, Kris once again spoke about Josh being a “punching bag.” This was after several peddlers of fake news said that he was already a father. She said it was her good friend, host, and talent manager Ogie Diaz who made her feel better after.
“Like any parent, initially nung pinakita sakin yung YouTube fake news about Kuya, nagalit ako. Then pinanuod ko ang kumpareng @ogie_diaz ko sa vlog niya, and may tumatak sakin. Ogie said words to the effect na ‘hindi naman natin tinatanggal ang posibilidad na maging tatay ang panganay ni Kris’ and doon ako nahimasmasan.”
“Thank you pare, for all the years that Kuya Josh, because he is in the autism spectrum, was made a punching bag on social media. Just because it was convenient when people wanted to play dirty politics. You made me feel that you saw him as a human being with the same right to love and be loved like everyone else. Many parents who raised or are raising children with special needs will identify with me. We know the challenges and we celebrate the victories. Kuya’s desire for independence now is a WIN!”
Candy Pangilinan on son Quentin
Comedian Candy Pangilinan has been using her platforms to create autism awareness because of her son Quentin, who has the condition. In her vlogs, Candy has been sharing the challenges of raising Quentin especially when there are moments he does not understand the situation.
In a January vlog, Candy was one of the speakers for a webinar called Pandemic Challenges of Families with Children on the Spectrum. She discussed the challenges of raising Quentin and some tips for parents who are raising kids with special needs. However, she puts a disclaimer. Candy says that she’s no expert and that she merely shares her experience with her followers.
In one of her latest videos dated April 12, Candy gave a glimpse of the days she calls a good day and tantrum or meltdown days. Additionally, she gave tips in handling situations like her experience with Quentin.
Michelle Dee on her two brothers
Beauty queen and actress Michelle Dee has been an advocate of autism awareness long before she joined the pageant scene. In a video posted three years ago on her YouTube account, Michelle shared how she has been trying to know more about autism. This was after her two brothers were diagnosed with the condition.
“Growing up with two autistic siblings was a far cry from ‘normal’,” Michelle narrated. ” Everyday was a struggle. Every single day was a battle in my head between what was normal and what was normal for the world. I think about them all the time.”
Moreover, Michelle has worked with various groups including the Autism Society of the Philippines. This was part of her Beauty with a Purpose in 2019. In between her busy schedule, she speaks in webinars and online talks to raise more awareness about the condition.
Autism Awareness: Let’s not discriminate against people with special needs
While there are personalities who have been using their platforms to speak on autism and those with special needs, a lot of them still experience discrimination. May we walk the talk and give these children and people with special needs the love, care, and proper attention they need.