Tag Archives: autism parent

The Cham’s on “The Heart of the Matter”

12 Jan

Victor, Cathy and their two boys took center-stage in this video produced by the Family and Life Update, a pro-life site dedicated to the many issues families are facing today.

Victor and Cathy share their experience of autism. How they discovered that their second son, Vico, was different from other kids; how they struggled and accepted his condition; and, how they work together – as a family – to inspire other families also dealing with autism.  We also get to speak with Vico himself, and his older brother Carlo about their relationship as brothers, and how their family moves forward in spite of everything. Join us as we get to the heart of the matter.

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Meet Lirio

10 Jan

Lirio Sobrevinas Covey is the founder and current president of AAAP and proud mother of Mikey, an adult with autism. She is currently a Professor in Clinical Psychology in Psychiatry with Columbia University Medical Center. She earned a doctorate in Psychology from the City University of New York , and completed a master’s degree in Psychology and post-doctoral training from Columbia University. She is a licensed psychologist for the state of New York State. Her clinical and research work focused on smokers who were both nicotine dependent and suffering from co-occurring depressive disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and alcohol and/or drug dependence. She co-authored a book that collected her experiences and those of other smoking cessation experts entitled “Helping the Hard-core Smoker: A Clinician’s Guide”, and has been the senior author or co-author on numerous peer-reviewed US and Europe-based scientific publications.

Lirio attended St. Theresa’s College in Quezon City and in Manila from grade school through college. In 1964, she graduated from STC with Summa Cum Laude honors and was named one of the Ten Outstanding Students of the Philippines. She recalls fondly her fellow awardees for that year who continue to live in the Philippines and remained good friends – Vicky Pineda Garchitorena, Sonia Malasarte Roco, Alberto Fenix, and the late Senator Raul Roco. After more than 50 years of studying and working in the United States, Lirio is returning with her family to live in Manila. When she is not ballroom dancing or renewing childhood and college friendships, she plans to devote her time in the Philippines to the development and nurturance of AAAP and the residents of A Special Place.

She penned “Living with Autism,” a personal story, which was published in the Philippine Daily Inquirer in June 2011.

Living with Autism

2 Jan

For most of the pioneer members of the AAAP based in the Philippines, this article, penned by Lirio Covey, our organization’s President and Executive Director, was the germ of it all. Since it first appeared in the Philippine Daily Inquirer in 25 June 2011, parents from all over the country echoed Lirio’s hopes to provide a loving residential community where our children with ASD can thrive long after we are gone.  This article was also reprinted in the Autism Society of the Philippines website.

When my firstborn was not quite four months old, his first nanny had delighted me with the comment, “You have a precocious son.” And so it was that Billy became a source of family pride with his growing social, physical and mental prowess.

So imagine what a shocking blow it was when several years later, Dr. Isabelle Rapin, a noted neurologist in New York, gently told me that our second son Mikey, then 3, had what she termed “a brain disorder” and would likely need supervision throughout his life.

This very general diagnosis followed an earlier labeling of my child that should have been unnerving, but was not at the time. Looking back, I was probably refusing to acknowledge the observation of family and friends, and the doctors’ eventual findings.

Mikey, then and now. (Photos contributed by L. Covey)

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