Celebrity couple Aubrey Miles and Troy Montero revealed on Tuesday, April 26, that their three-year-old daughter Rocket was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD)
In an Instagram post uploaded on their respective accounts that day, both Miles and Montero said they made sure to educate themselves about ASD first before informing others about Rocket's condition.
"We didn’t share this right away because we are still learning about ASD. It was important for us to educate ourselves about it. At first, we were confused, and questioned ourselves, how and why. We searched around for an ASD specialist before anything else," the couple said.
They said the symptoms of ASD vary per child and as for Rocket, it includes "delayed speech, no eye contact, difficulty communicating, can focus on one thing for hours" and "doing things over and over again like running and flapping her hands."
Apart from these, Miles and Montero said that their daughter would, at times, cry uncontrollably, especially because she has "hard time controlling her emotions." The couple elaborated, "Sometimes there's no middle. Happy or sad, laughing or crying out loud, and doesn't know how to stop."
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Parents of children with special needs found the courage to share their own stories after Aubrey Miles and Troy Montero initiated an Autism Awareness Movement for their daughter, Rocket.
Karen Davila extended empathy and encouragement as a mom to David, who also has autism. "Hiii @milesaubrey. I understand what you are going through. I have been there! Please let me know how I can reach you both - would like to share what helped my son David!" the ABS-CBN news anchor wrote in the comments section of Miles' post.
Meanwhile, Mariel Padilla extended help to the couple in the form of words of encouragement: "[heart emojis] with proper management/ treatment it will get easier for rocket [praying hands emojis] she is lucky because she has parents like you guys. I know she will be alright."
"Hugs to you guys! She is an Angel and she is perfect no matter what," Cristalle Belo remarked.
Apart from famous personalities, the couple was able to reach out to many other parents taking care of kids diagnosed with ASD.
One Instagram user said that like Miles and Montero, she too has a daughter with autism. "I suspected it when she was 2 but she didn't get her official diagnosis until she was 6. She received Speech Therapy and OT (occupational therapy) while in grade school. She's in middle school now and continues to see a regular therapist," she wrote.
"Rocket is awesome and with your support she will thrive and live a life with so much love,” the parent added.
Another parent shared how his son is coping with autism. "My son also is [dealing] with ASD. 2 yrs old sya nong na diagnose. He is now 7 y.o. Nag OT and Speech siya since 2 years old and 6months.. until now still on his therapies (OT and speech, and dysphagia because he doesn’t like to eat hard food and can’t shallow well)," one of the couple's followers said.
“My daughter, the same age as Rocket po, is also diagnosed with ASD. Yes, it's hard. We're always worried, always protective. Kaya, a support group is really a big help po. She's also doing OTs, and may improve naman. Praying for all ‘Ausome’ families!” a netizen also shared.
One parent aired her desire for the government to extend help to children with ASD. "I feel a ‘deep bonding’ for parents (or single parents) who have kid/s who are specially made. I just wish that our government will give more attention and privileges to them... therapies are extremely expensive and not everyone can afford. Schools that [are] focused on them are also sky high," she said.
Prior to Miles and Montero, other celebrity parents opened up about having children with special needs. Candy Pangilinan, for one, is an advocate of autism awareness following the diagnosis of her son Quentin. In her Instagram posts and Youtube vlogs she actively shares Quentin’s improvements as he undergoes therapy and tips for single moms dealing with the same experiences as her.
Candy’s recent IG post shows snippets of their vlog of her teaching Quentin to follow directions. “Be a Friend to your child,” she wrote in the caption with hashtags #autism and #adhd.