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Celebs With Kids Or Siblings With Special Needs Know Life Is Different But Full Of Joy
  • Around the world, October is celebrated as an awareness month for ADHD (Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder) and Down syndrome.

    In the Philippines, National Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) Awareness Week starts every third week of October. We celebrate National Down Syndrome Consciousness Month in February.

    ADHD is one of the most commonly diagnosed behavioral disorders in children. Diagnosis here in the Philippines has reportedly increased, and parents often wonder whether their sobrang malikot child may have this condition.

    On the other hand, Down syndrome is a condition where a person is born with 47 chromosomes instead of 46. This extra chromosome causes a delay in development that leads to physical and mental changes in the child. (Read tips on raising a child with Down syndrome here.)

    For many parents, learning their child has special needs can be scary and painful. But they will also be the first to tell you the challenges also come with joy and unconditional love.

    We gathered a few quotes and life lessons from celebrities who have been open about caring for their kids or siblings with ADHD and Down syndrome. 

    Candy Pangilinan on son Quentin: ‘Living simply is enough’

    On May 2, 2021, Candy Pangilinan shared on Toni Talks about raising her son Quentin, who was diagnosed with ADHD and autism.

    “He’s my ticket to heaven… Grabe yung tinuro niya sa’kin. Yung pasensya, ‘yung tolerance, saka ‘yung to live simply. Sobra siyang grateful and appreciative of simple things. Dati kasi, kailangan mo akong maimpress, pero ngayon hindi na. Mga simpleng bagay, nakakatuwa na,” Candy said.


    Sofia Andres on brother Bryan Angelo Andres: ‘Treat them normally’

    Sofia Andres has always been vocal about having a sibling with Down syndrome. “Just accept who they are,” she says of her brother Bryan Angelo Andres. “Treat them as like they are normal lang.

    Sofia adds, “Siya yung happiness ng family. Saka alam din naman nila na swerte si Bryan sa family. As in sobrang bait nito.” 

    In a recent interview on Magandang Buhay, Sofia promised her brother, “I’ll be here forever for you. Kasi di ba meron silang insecurities ‘pag kunwari di mo sila naiintindihan magsalita? Nafi-feel nila eh. Parang frustrated sila. So parang iba yung pag sinabi na, you know, ‘Bryan, mahal ka namin.’ Hindi lang siya nag-iisa.”

    Vickie Rushton on brother Kian Rushton: ‘An angel like him deserves a good and happy life’

    Growing up with a brother born with Down syndrome and Congenital Heart Disease (CHD) has led actress and beauty queen Vickie Marie Rushton to work with Happy Hearts Project by Jaden & Friends.

    Vickie admits she gets emotional talking about her brother, Kian Rushton “Seeing how happy he is right now and throughout the day. How I wish I can stay here beside him so that I can take him out more often,” she said in a Facebook post back in 2017.

    “To those who don’t know, my mom is blind so it’s really hard for them [to help him]. I want him to be happy. I want him to enjoy life. An angel like him deserves a good and happy life. He is the best.”

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    Suzanna Yuzon on daughter Johannah Yuzon: ‘Anything is possible for girls with special needs’

    Two-time winner of Mrs. Thailand and Mrs. World 2003 Suzanna Yuzon founded Miss Possibilities to promote the message that “anything is possible for girls with special needs.”

    She and her husband run their Facebook page, “Down syndrome: A Little Bit Extra” where they talk about daughter Joey's condition.

    They posted a video of Joey wearing glasses and punching a ball to improve her visual skills on their Facebook page. (Vision is a common issue among kids with Down syndrome. Joey has been wearing glasses since she was 1 year old.

    “What I overlooked was how important it is to develop and improve visual skills and abilities; improve visual comfort, ease, and efficiency; and change visual processing or the interpretation of visual information.”

    Suzanna adds, “Now, Joey enjoys reading and writing so much more because she can see it better. It’s not always delayed development or cognition.” 

    Ara Mina’s sister, Baching: ‘I think she’s my lucky charm’

    In a Pep.ph article, Ara Mina opens up why she considers her sister, Mina Princess Klenk or “Baching” as her lucky charm. 

    “Nung pinanganak siya, doon ako natanggap sa pag-aartista. Nung wala pa siya sa buhay namin, ilang audition ako hindi ako natanggap. So nung pinanganak siya, sunud-sunod na pagtanggap sa’kin. I think she’s my lucky charm.”

    Akiko Thomson’s daughter, Sachiko: ‘Don’t be scared and afraid of your child’s future’

    Champion swimmer Akiko Thomson has inspired many by sharing the challenges and joys of raising daughter Sachiko, who has Down syndrome. 


    “Don’t be scared and afraid of your child’s future,” Akiko tells parents who are learning their child has Down syndrome for the first time. “Your child can have a very good future. Different, perhaps, but who’s to say or stop what they can be and do?

    “And believe me, they will open your eyes and your heart so much more. They will be your deepest joy and greatest therapy, and you will thank God for giving you such a beautiful, beautiful gift.”

    Click here and here to know more about ADHD and Down syndrome.

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