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May 12 19, 9:30 am

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OFW mom raises children of determination towards progressive development

by | Feature, Global, Lifestyle

May. 12, 19 | 9:30 am

Many moms all over the world already acknowledge the hindrances and challenges of raising kids in this day and age – but the stakes are raised up a whole new level when the mom herself is also managing challenges of her own.

In the case of Mj Maria Lami-in, raising her three children of determination and having Asperger’s Syndrome herself, it’s a ‘daily learning adventure’ for her entire family. “There’s always something new, and with three in the spectrum each having different personality facets and needs, And myself being an adult aspie*, we’re a rollercoaster of discoveries and new paradigm twists,” said Lami-in.

(* – ‘Aspie’ is a shortened term for a person with Asperger’s Syndrome.)

A world of inclusivity

Lami-in, who has been in the UAE for 13 years, has been a staunch advocate of autism ever since the first formal diagnosis for her boy, and she began her journey as an autism mum 11 years ago. “I use “Us, Ours and We” because as a family, We are facing this as a unified force. Even the children are aware of our “gift”. Our particular battle is of psychological barriers and triggers. We have learning and obvious social and life skills’ developmental delays,”

She shares that it’s may be different environment than most households, but the essence of learning society’s most important values remain the same: “Of course this affects most everything. So we’ve redirected focus onto the practical life building factors. Self-esteem, good manner and right conduct, values, life and social safety skills.”

Motherly guidance

The mom of three shares that her day-to-day life regularly involves several issues that she has to address to aid her kids. “On a daily basis there’s several going in the menu. Sudden overloads, prolonged crying fits, food sensory sensitivities and aversions, mood triggers and emotional swings to the most ordinary situations or things. Among a few,” shared Lami-in.

She furthers that while she attempts to have a routine for their family to follow, she never forgets to get herself prepared for anything that might occur at any time. “You hold on to the familiar for stability but then always be ready for the unexpected. More so for me I suppose as an adult aspie who is not always happy with social “surprises”.

A river of tears

However, as an adult aspie, she also has faced tough times that led her to several bouts of sadness. “You don’t deny the emotions of fear and sometimes, a bit of being lost and grasping for air. It always slams back at you in the most unexpected times. It’s part of the package. Together with your laughter, you need to release your tears too. A river of tears,”

Even so – she manages to pick herself up and look through things at a different perspective in life, thinking not about ‘challenges to overcome’, but as a ‘daily adventure to embrace’: “I guess for me, it’s not something that you “overcome”. It’s a matter of perspectives: You don’t “get over” autism or any disabilities whether visible or invisible. You don’t erase it or sweep it under the rug to be forgotten. This is part of our being “us”.

Embracing life

Today, Lami-in continues to raise her children as she embraces her daily reality together with her entire family: “We are not cowered, defined or limited by our “disability” but strengthened and emboldened knowing we are so much more stronger for it. You accept it, learn about it, live with it, work with it into your daily reality. With two girl aspies (the eldest being on the other end of the spectrum as she’s intellectually logical and artistically talented) and one on the brink of puberty as well as a non-verbal selective response autistic son, that’s times three the fun. It has become our daily reality that it’s now our “normal regular”. These on top of the 24/7 mother, wife, house-manager scenario.

She advises fellow moms that being a mother will always entail sacrifices towards the betterment of the family: “My mum used to tell me, ‘It is never a hardship or a “sacrifice” when it is for your children and family. The smallest, most mundane things for them that would otherwise “irritate” you. The more you do and offer it with grace, the more you will be fortified and blessed’. As a teen I though it was repetitive corny. Now as a mother, when she repeats it, It renews my strength.”

 

 

 

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THE FILIPINO TIMES is the biggest and most trusted Filipino newspaper in the UAE.

It has a print run of 60,000 copies and 250,000 readership per week; bolstered by 1 million visitors to its website every month. It also has an e-newsletter sent to its 250,000 subscribers every day.

The Filipino Times is FREE and has the widest targeted circulation across the 7 emirates of the UAE.

With more than 2,500 strategic distribution spots, TFT is available where the Filipinos are - at Smart Bus Shelters, Metro Stations, restaurants, supermarkets, schools, airport lounges, Emirates and Etihad Philippine-bound flights, churches, Filipino community events and many more.

THE FILIPINO TIMES. We are where the Filipinos are.

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