in Child Care & Parenting, Family Life & Parenting, Health & Fitness, Personal Posts

My Toddler has Autism Spectrum Disorder


Autism Is Ausome

This is my son, Neo. He’s turning 3 years old in just a few months. Like most toddlers, he loves to explore the world around him and often tries to do things on his own. But unlike most toddlers his age, he still can’t talk, he has certain obsessive habits, and has a few self-injurious behaviors.

Having a strong maternal instinct, I knew deep in my heart that SOMETHING is wrong peculiar with my son. My suspicions were confirmed right after hearing these painful words from the developmental pedia, “It seems that Neo has mild autism.”

ASD toddler PH

What is Autism?

According to National Institute of Mental Health, Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is characterized by:

  • Persistent deficits in social communication and social interaction across multiple contexts;
  • Restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior, interests, or activities;
  • Symptoms must be present in the early developmental period (typically recognized in the first two years of life); and,
  • Symptoms cause clinically significant impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of current functioning.

The term “spectrum” refers to the wide range of symptoms, skills, and levels of impairment or disability that children with ASD can have. Some children are mildly impaired by their symptoms, while others are severely disabled. –

Photo credit:

Before we went to see Dr. Mark Reysio-Cruz (developmental and behavioral pediatrician in Capitol Medical Center) last August 2015, I had been noticing a few red flags regarding my son’s behavior.

  • Repetitive stacking and lining up of objects. When he was nearing the age of two, he would always make “towers” of objects that he could find lying around the house. At first I found this amusing, but when I noticed that he often lines up cars instead of pushing/driving them around, I became worried.
  • He hits his head against the floor or any surface whenever he gets angry or anxious, or for no reason at all.
  • Speech delay. I didn’t worry about this actually because my eldest spoke in sentences when he was already 4 years old. Neo, on the contrary, can’t/won’t use even simple words such as eat, water, milk, by the age of 2 1/2 years old. He uses gestures to communicate. 
  • [Sometimes] Spins in circles, walks in tiptoes, and puts everything inside his mouth.
  • He does not respond when his name is called. This happens 70-80% of the time.
  • He prefers to play alone. 
  • Poor eye contact.
Read also:  A Girl's Guide to Dealing with UTIs

Dr. Mark also noted Neo’s strengths — he knows the alphabet, shapes, colors, and numbers, he can use spoon/fork and drink from cups, throw a ball overhand, and kick a ball forward. Most of all, he has a happy disposition. 🙂

Developmental and Behavioral Pedia PH

During his evaluation with Dr. Mark, Neo got a 63.5% Total CAT/CLAMS Developmental Quotient (DQ). His low score constitutes delay and warrants further evaluation and management.

His visual-motor/problem solving abilities is 74% (a passing score) but his language score is a bit low at 53%. At 2 1/3 years old, he has receptive language skills of a 10-month old baby and expressive language of a 16-month toddler.

If you’re interested with the Dev Ped evaluation rate/price, it’s PhP 4,500 (evaluation report included). One session lasts for about an hour.

The shock of finding out that my toddler has autism is life-changing, but I won’t allow even a bit of this fact to change the way I look at life. Tougher days and rougher roads are ahead of us, but I am not going to give up on this mystery.. until all the pieces fit.

Photo credit:

Capitol Medical Center
Quezon Avenue Cor. Scout Magbanua St. Quezon City, Philippines, 1103
(02) 372-3825 – 44

Marcelino G. Reysio-Cruz III, M.D.
Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics
Room 207, Capitol Medical Center
371-2106 / 372-3825 local 3234
(By Appointment)


  1. Coi

    Hi Mommy Shalene, thank you for sharing this story about Neo. God bless! 🙂

    25 . Jan . 2016
  2. Joy Mendiola

    I have a cousin, whom I grew up and tutored when we were kids. She’s now 40 (and I’m 42). Enjoy every moment with Neo. You’ll soon find out ikaw pala ang maraming matututunan sa kanya and not the other way around.

    25 . Jan . 2016
  3. Charley's Mommy

    I love your story. I have a dear nephew who also has autism and I love him much. He’s such a sweet sweet child. 🙂 God bless you and your little Neo. Hugs! Thanks for sharing, Mommy. 🙂

    25 . Jan . 2016
  4. Lady Anne Louise Barrun

    I salute you for being patient and loving to your child. Wishing you all the best for you and your family.

    26 . Jan . 2016
  5. celin mendoza

    My heart goes with you and your son mommy. Just continue what you are doing right now. Don’t give up. God has a plan and it is a miraculous one. =)

    26 . Jan . 2016
  6. Mommy Pehpot

    It really is important na may acceptance ang mother eh.. mas madali natutulungan ang mga kids no.. at napaghahandaan ang mga therapy sessions.

    Keep it up mommy!

    26 . Jan . 2016
  7. Celerhina Aubrey ★

    My brother has cerebral palsy and global developmental delay. Its tough. But he made our family stronger. Better. Your son is very blessed to have you.

    26 . Jan . 2016
  8. TweenselMom

    I admire your strength! Your son is lucky to have you.

    26 . Jan . 2016
  9. Berlin

    My first born also underwent the same examination when he was four years old. We noticed some speech delay and he would play on his own and even spin in circles for almost half an hour. Turned out, everything’s fine. We over exaggerated.

    I salute you for your calm acceptance. Your Neo is one lucky boy to have you as his mother. God bless always.

    26 . Jan . 2016
  10. Louisa

    My godson was diagnosed with autism but it turns out he had neurobalstoma. He was exhibiting all the signs. Only a strong women and mother can face such a challenge. I admire your strength.

    26 . Jan . 2016
  11. Maan

    I won’t pretend to know the challenges that comes with parenting a child with autism, but I am sure that Neo is one intelligent boy and that you are a mum who can nourish his strengths and build him up. God is good!

    27 . Jan . 2016
  12. Madz

    Thank you for sharing.I think aside from from the helpful information ,many parents experiencing the same situation will be encouraged. God chose you to be his mother because He knows you’d appreciate his being 🙂

    28 . Jan . 2016
  13. Meikah Ybañez-Delid (@Meikah)

    Into this world, special children are born. I believe you can take care of him the best way you can. And we will be here, your community of moms, to help you every step of the way. 🙂

    28 . Jan . 2016
  14. Kharla Canta

    this is a lovely post fellow mommy! I admire your strength! God gave you a wonderful son 🙂

    29 . Jan . 2016
  15. Mhaan Arambulo - Delos Santos

    Hi Mommy! I admire your strength for sharing this. This will help other mommies who are going through the same thing.

    30 . Jan . 2016
  16. Jackie

    I’m scared of discovering that anything might be peculiar with my own child because I’m not sure if I have the courage or strength that you have…more power to you mommy, looking forward to reading your stories..

    01 . Feb . 2016
  17. Ayi

    Hi momma 🙂 I admire your strength and courage 🙂 The good thing is that there are classes and new developments geared towards ASD. Have faith 🙂 At the end of the day, a mother’s love will conquer it all 🙂

    01 . Feb . 2016
  18. Denice

    You have a wonderful son. God bless you and your family.

    07 . Feb . 2016
  19. sarah tirona

    its scary how he hurts himself when he gets angry 🙁

    08 . Feb . 2016
  20. Mariel

    Hi, is it possible for you to send me dr. Mark’s cellphone number? We are a patient of his way back and would like to make an appointemnt. I cant seem to catch him earlier this week at the clinic’s trunkline. Thanks

    15 . Dec . 2016
  21. Trixie

    Saan nagOT si NEO?

    11 . Apr . 2017
  22. Jay_

    Thanyou mam for sharing at iopen ang story ni neo katulad ng baby eros nmin 2 n 4 mo ths old n xa at diagnosed with autisim pro ng start n xa mag OT at kita nmin n malaking improvement nya… Tama po kau d dapat tau sumuko sa kanila kc tau ang kanilang magiging paaa kamay at bibig nla sa mundi nting my mga taong mapanghusga…. Goodbless and praying also for neo full recovery…..

    24 . Apr . 2017

Let me know your thoughts!

Leave a Reply