SAN FRANCISCO – For founder and president of the Autism Hearts Foundation Lynda Borromeo, it was very important for her to discuss the significance of Autism Awareness Month to a class of second graders.
Her grandson, Julian, has autism and she understands what it is like to see a child grow up in a different way than his or her classmates.
“I saw how my grandson grew up with very little friends, especially when he was in second grade,” said Borromeo. “It is very important that these kids understand how to deal or how to make friends and how to interact with children with autism and I think they got it.”
The children’s teacher, Mr. Oliver Glover, said it is important for children and their families to be informed about autism and to have compassion for those affected by it.
“We gave the students and their families homework assignments to discuss April as Autism Awareness Month,” said Glover. “They had a variety of questions to answer and respond to, to develop discussions at home and we had discussions in class.”
Mr. Glover’s class was also inspired to create artwork based on the art made by students with autism as part of the Autism Hearts Foundation.
Borromeo and her foundation were at the United Nations in New York at the beginning of the month to celebrate the eighth annual World Autism Awareness Day and to discuss the need to help children with autism in the Philippines.
“We are really moving forward and fast forwarding on all the support we could give to families with autism, most especially the parents skill training in the Typhoon Haiyan stricken area,” she said. “As we speak right now there is a parents skill training being facilitated by World Health Organization from Geneva and also Autism Speaks from New York.”
Borromeo said she and her foundation will continue their work. She was especially happy to see that the children have become more aware of autism and can share knowledge with their family and friends.
“It’s just awesome that they’re so compassionate and they have empathy,” she said.
The Philippine Consulate General in San Francisco will celebrate World Autism Awareness Day by featuring an art exhibit by students with autism. It will run until April 30.