Ever since she discovered that her 2 sons have communication disorders, Trinidad “Trixie” Indefenzo has easily accepted her child’s condition. Unlike any other parents, it wasn’t hard for her to warmly acknowledge Job and Alphonso’s condition as she believes that her children would develop eventually.
Trixie is a mother of three. Two of her younger sons, Job and Alphonso, were diagnosed with Global Developmental Delay and Autism Spectrum Disorder respectively.
She focuses on the story of her son, Job who has Global Developmental Delay. “I noticed that at the age of 2, he still doesn’t know how to speak. I told myself, maybe, he’s like his older brother. Maybe he also has ASD.” Trixie says.
After suspecting that Job might have an ASD, Trinidad brought him to a developmental paediatrician. Gradually, he learned how to speak although his words were very minimal. His developmental pediatrician finally decided to refer him to a speech pathologist. Along with his brother, Alphonso, he was enrolled to Independent Living Learning Center (ILLC), an institute dedicated to youth with special needs, located in Mandaluyong where he took speech therapy sessions.
As a parent of 2 children with communication difficulties, Trixie admits that she also faced difficulties especially when her children are having a meltdown. “When they’re having a meltdown, it’s the hardest part. They are weeping and I don’t even know why, [my guess is that] maybe it’s because of a headache. What I usually do is give them analgesic.”
Trixie’s desire to further understand her children’s conditions led her to take up a Special Education course. She took up a few units but she stopped recently because she found it hard to balance both school and being a mother.
For 3 years, Trixie’s sons’ underwent speech therapy services. During these times, homeworks were given to them every after sessions. “They have a notebook. That is where they jot down their progress, what they need to do. There are also exercises that involve the tongue.”
Job underwent speech therapy for a while but eventually, he had to stop because of migration reasons. Upon returning to the Philippines, Ms. Trixie found it hard to look for clinics that offered speech therapy services since the last clinic they attended to already had full slots. The distance of the clinic to their home also became a problem to her since most clinics were very far.
Nevertheless, Trixie claims that Job’s therapy was effective. “It was hard (being a parent) because of the disability. But when he was having his therapy at ILLC, he improved a lot.” She shares that she used to jot down the limited number of words that her son could speak. Now she does not need to count them anymore because he is already capable of saying many words, phrases and sentences.
At present, Job is now attending a regular school. It is now his 2nd year attending a regular school. “At last, his therapist advised that he could [attend a mainstream school]. It is just that he’s delayed. He is just in Grade 3.” Trinidad claims.
Mrs. Trixie concludes that parents should not set limitations to their children because of their special condition. “If the parents have special children, they should not limit their child…” She adds that parents, especially those who have special children, need to have patience, perseverance and a lot of love for their children regardless of their condition.