Moms and Dads

Karen Davila’s Son David is Now a UP Freshman

“It truly takes a village to raise a child, especially one with special needs,” reminds an overjoyed Karen.

College is every person’s critical moment. It decides who their friends are and where they’ll be in life. But not everyone bolts off from the same starting line. Some are at a disadvantage but with the proper support, they too can live and thrive. Filipino journalist mom Karen Davila showcases the result of having adequate support, proudly posting a photo of her son, David, as a freshman at the University of the Philippines in the College of Fine Arts.

“Preparing a child in the autism spectrum for college takes a lot of support and planning. Thank you so much to my alma mater – UP DILIMAN, and the officials of UPCFA for choosing INCLUSIVITY,” Karen beams.

Karen Davila's Son David is Now a UP Freshman
Source: iamkarendavila Instagram

Needing support doesn’t mean one is incapable

Traditionally, requesting and needing support became synonymous with being incapable which furthered exclusivity in society. Kids with autism or developmental delays were often left behind, leaving parents beside themselves with anxiety about how their children were going to make it in the world without them. Today, changes are slowly being made with parents like Karen Davila being more open about celebrating her son’s milestones.

“Last May 2023, David took the talent determination test along with hundreds of students at the UP Diliman campus. No parents were allowed during testing. By June, we got the letter that David made it! My heart was bursting with joy!” she recounts.

She adds that David won’t be alone in his college journey. “For now, David is accompanied by his teachers from Vanguard – helping him adjust to college life and his classes. I love @thevanguardacademyph teachers – for being with David on his journey! Love you guys ❤️”

Karen Davila's Son David is Now a UP Freshman
Source: iamkarendavila Instagram

Finding the awesome in autism

Even in the past, Karen Davila has been highly supportive of David’s love and talent for painting.

Parenting is a journey that needs a lot of support, even more so when our child has special needs. While people are slowly understanding the necessity of inclusivity, we were thrust into that world when our children looked at us differently than the many parenting books described. And when we do find that sweet balance between the support we want and need in raising a child with autism, we find that there’s an awesome world out there they are also waiting to explore with us. Like how Karen Davila ends in her post, “It is true, ‘It takes a village to raise a child.’ Even more so, a child with special needs.”

Become More Aware About Autism

10 Things Parents Must Know About Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)
Adulting With ADHD or Autism: Coping in the Typical World
Troy Montero Shows How They Handle Their Daughter’s Tantrums

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