Special Education

Techniques for Home Study

Parents and guardians are encouraged to do their part. The therapeutic activities performed would help the child improve his developmental and academic skills (i.e. fine/gross motor, cognitive, social, language, behavior, self-help, reading and writing. However, challenges in the school are too big and complex that we should act  and do the right approach. Here are the guidelines to maximize the output of your home activity whether it is writing or performing a task.

  1. Environment – Let him sit in an area with no TV set, Computer or Radio. The area must be organized with no visible materials to touch, attractive photos to see or loud noises caused by people or machines.
  2. Motivation – A positive reinforcer such as praises, activity play or tangible items must be utilized to increase the desire to complete task with quality output. However, if the child does not cooperate, utilize the response cost which is the removal of privilege (i.e. No toy or activity to play during this period.) The Premack Principle or Grandma’s Law can also be imposed such that “no play if you cannot finish your task.”
  3. Materials – The paper to use can be the standard one. But it may pose a stereotype to him. A white bond paper (reused or recyclable) can be utilized. Be sure to have a blue and red pentel pen. Put lines similar to the Grade 1 paper with blue-red-blue lines. Make the spaces big. The pencil as a writing material is good but a more fun way is to use colored pens to highlight it. Also, the material should be clear and visible. The parent must write it so that the child can only see the word that should be written. To avoid being overwhelmed by the writing task, the parent may opt to select the word and write in a sheet of paper.
  4. Review – Poor writing can be a product of poor teaching. Poor acquisition of this skill is not only from the child’s condition (i.e. poor fine motor control, perceptual and eye-hand coordination). It may also be brought about by lack of practice, lack of corrections and lack of exercises or drills. It is important to review the child’s present writing skills. Observe the strokes he used in writing the letters. Correct it if he used the incorrect way.
  5. Portfolio – Keep the child’s writing output. You may place it in a big clear folder. Put a red mark on the incorrect letter formation, wrong spelling, absent period/comma, letter reversals (b to d, p to q), letter inversal ( m to w, u to n, b to p)subtractions (right to rght), addition (June to Junes).

Author: Cayetano Polancos Jr, MA, PTRP, LPT

August 9, 2017



Special Education

Shapingpro spearheads National AD/HD Awareness Week Seminar

Thank you very much to all who have contributed to the success of the seminar. Various sectors have attended and listened to our distinguished resource speakers namely: Dr. Mervin Edcel Flavier (Neurodevelopmental Pediatrician), Dr. Rosalinda Cabig (Principal at DepEd) and Sr. Inspector Elisa Ramirez (Davao City Police Office).

Hundreds of participants gathered in Brokenshire College on October 24, 2015 to participate in this event. Teachers, Police Officers, BJMP Personnel, BFP Personnel, Social Workers, NGO workers, Students and Barangay Officials have spent their afternoon with learning experiences from this seminar. This event is in partnership with ADHD Society of the Philippines headed by Mr. Pacifico Tee who came to Davao City to meet the participants and share his experiences.
Dr Cabig entertains questions Dr Cabig in the center Dr Flavier in the center Dr. Flavier talks about ADHD Mam Ramirez entertains questions Mam ramirez in the center Mr Tee receives the plaque Not Mam Ramirez in the center Organizers and Dr. Flavier organizers with Mr Tee and Mam Ramirez participants2 (1) participants2 (2) participants4 (1) participants4 (2) participants5 participants6 participants7 participants8 participants9 participantsfull participantsfull2 participantslisten

Special Thanks:

Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, Congressman Karlo Alexei Nograles, Councilor April May Dayap, Davao City Police Office, Bureau of Jail Management and Penology, Bureau of Fire Protection, BCCAD, Barangays in Davao City, Bread Factory, Vigattin Trade, Premium Graphics, Kyani and Emeritus Healthcare.

Behavior Management, Features, Special Education

Foundations of an Effective and Efficient Child Care Provider

In the recently concluded 8th Biennial Convention of the Philippine Society for Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, many ideas were conveyed with scientific and factual data. It has been an enriching 2-day event attended by Pediatricians, Therapists, Educators and Advocates.

There is a study on the effects of an enriched environment to the brain of children. Dr. Joel Lazaro provided an insight on a study that the brain has a phenomenon called “Use it or Lose it”. When you provide an environment that stimulates the mind of a child synapses are formed. Early experiences matter because it influence brain architecture and function. Take for example Tiger Woods, a champion golfer. He was given an opportunity to play and be trained by his father, also a golfer. At a young age, he was already performing at par with other pros. The first five years of the child is an essential time- the foundation years. There is an interplay of nature versus nurture. The brain is developing during those years. Learning starts at home – his first school.

Furthermore, the plenary became more active and participative when the topic emphasized on early intervention and stress. Early intervention starts when the therapists commences their programs, when the child receives education in regular or progressive schools, when parents are equipped on new parenting techniques and when the family adjusts to accommodate the child’s individual and unique needs.

Stress can be acquired by children too. This can be seen by physical manifestations. It can be positive, tolerable and toxic stress. Positive stress is felt when the child undergoes natural course, events that are necessary for his development. Tolerable stress can be a loss of something dear to him like a loved one, a toy, a change of residence or parents separating. Toxic stress is the severe form where the child experiences emotions more than he can handle. For example, physical abuse. Verbal abuse in my opinion may fall in this category. Ridicule, shaming, bad-mouthing are some habits that can lead to stress.

Finally, “less is more” as what Dr. Lazaro emphasized. We live in a world where there is an abundance of almost everything. For me, when we take control and appreciate the little things we have and use it to our advantage, that is to allow more time for stimulation. When we have lots of technological armours, what is left is little quality time. When we have lots of dreams and demands to our exceptional children so they can be achievers, what is left is little quality time for play.

By: Teacher Jun Polancos

Special Education

Learning from the Experts

In the ongoing 8th Biennial Convention, I summarized today’s plenary with these scientifically proven ideas, approaches and interventions for children with developmental conditions. 


  1. Inhibitory Control – The child stays seated or on table. He waits before he is instructed. He is able to filter distractions and continues task. He thinks before he acts. 

FYI: At 6 months, the child inhibits to “no”. At 10 months, the child starts to maintain focus. At 4-5  years old, the child decreases perseveration (repetitiveness). 

  1. Working Memory – Child remembers 5-9 items for 10-30 seconds. He recalls and retains what has been taught. He completes task.

  2. Cognitive Flexibility – Child is able to shift and adjust in response to different demands. He finds a way to retrieve an object. He sustains attention.

Is your child able to possess the following traits? These are Executive Functions. These are the better predictors of academic success. It influences school achievement and social development.  

Delayed Gratification. We heard this when we cannot getwhat we wanted. To give you a perspective, by allowing your child to wait for 15 minutes before giving what he wants (note wants), studies show an increase in scores in achievement tests.

However, there are also negative influences that may arise when the following are practised:

  1. Frequent changes in primary caregiver. 
  2. Prolonged and early screen viewing. Screen viewing constitutes television, computer, tablet, ipad, android and smart phones and cellphones. Studies show an increase in hostile and aggressive behaviors, attentional problems, poor impulse control, bullying and violence. TV-DVD Educational Products do not work at all. It showed no proven effects in language and vocabulary of 17-24 month-old child. For 5 year old children it can be allowed only for 2-3 hours for “interactive tv shows” and parental supervision. 
  3. Low socio-economic status, orphaned
  4. Toxic stress (physical, sexual abuse)The Philippine Society for Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics celebrates 15th year and present the 8th Biennial Convention held at Crowne Plaza Manila on September 1 and 2, 2015. Shapingpro Child Therapy and Integrated School is one of the delegates for this convention.  
Special Education

Shapingpro Celebrates 4th Year Anniversary

The Shapingpro Child Therapy Center marked their 4th year anniversary with a meaningful celebration with the Ma-a Central Elementary School SPED Center on August 8, 2014.

Teacher Jun entertains questions from parents


Teacher Jun provides input on the different techniques in handling difficult behaviors of children.
Teacher Jun pointed out the sensory processing problems that these children encountered which somehow influence them how they behave in their environment.
A father voices out his concerns and problems about his son’s behaviors.

Mr. Cayetano D. Polancos Jr., proprietor of the center conducted a free seminar attended by more than 50 participants including teachers and parents of children with disabilities.

Alongside the event, a feeding program was provided to 62 children with Autism, Down Syndrome, Visual Impairment, Intellectual Disability, Hearing Impairment who are enrolled in this school.

Teacher Honey distributed this nutritious food for them.

“The children are very happy that they receive loot bags with food in it aside from the arrozcaldo which was prepared and cooked by their teachers and interns.”, said Miss Honeylou Wabina, program coordinator of the center.

Teacher Chen prepares the loot bags for the children.
The children receives loot bags composed of various food items.
The UM SPED interns and parents helped in the preparation of food. Arrozcaldo is nutritious snack composed of rice, chicken, egg and spices.
“Thank you,” said the surprised child. “You’re welcome,” said Teacher Honey.

During the discussion, parents expressed their concerns and problems related to rearing and handling children with special needs. “Children with special needs have lags in their milestones, some even have multiple conditions, therefore I urge everyone to set aside traditional beliefs and practices and engage you child in meaningful and purposeful activities at home – a must for your child’s advancement,” said Mr. Polancos during the forum.

Teacher and parents listened intently as Teacher Jun explained the importance of rules in the classroom as well as in the home.
Parents listened carefully to the speaker while the free snacks are being served.

“All of these things have been made possible because of the generous donation of my friend, Julius Olegario, a Physical Therapist who is based in Abu Dhabi, his brother Jasper, my staff, my wife Azenith, the kind teachers of this school and the parents and their children who have welcomed even in short notice. We thank you all”, he added.

Teacher Jun thanked the people who made the center’s 4th year existence meaningful.

Mrs. Jean Pavon, SPED Coordinator of the school thanked the parents, children and the staff of the center for their valuable contribution in providing the activity which helped them in their practice.

Maam Jean thanked the people and the center who made this event worthwhile.

The participants also received free snacks and certificates. The center also donated seeds for the school’s program as well as beads and puzzles to augment their classroom materials.

Turnover of seeds, puzzles and other materials to improve the children’s performance.
V.I. Class with supportive parents and their children.


“The Shapingpro Child Therapy Center remains to be steadfast to continue its commitment of delivering appropriate and affordable therapy services to the people of Davao City. To those who cannot come because of distance and financial constraints, we are the ones who come, like this kind of event were we engage parents to open up and share their difficulties, problems, hardships and ask for advice on what to do with their child. We shall continue our SPEDition to every school who have special needs children,” Mr. Polancos concluded.


Article by: Jose Balandra

August 10, 2014

Shapers Gazette


Special Education

Pagpapaunlad Sa Kasanayan ng Bata ay Magsisimula sa Bahay

Pagpapaunlad sa Kasanayan ng Bata ay Magsisimula sa Bahay

family(Developing skills of a child begins at home)


                                        The SHAPINGPRO Family Education Guide

        Ang pagkakaroon ng problema sa “development” ng inyong anak o kamag-anak ay kailangan tingnan sa iba’t-ibang bahagi. Hindi dapat panghinaan ng loob, sa halip tingnan ito na isang malaking hamon sa inyo.

          Ang “development” ay isang mahabang proseso. Ito ay napagdaanan natin. Kung ang inyong anak ay may kakaibang development keysa sa ibang bata, tayo ay komunsulta agad sa isang espesyalistang duktor para sa mga ganitong kondisyon na ang tawag ay “Developmental Pediatrician”. Sila ang may kakayahang malaman at masuri kung anong klaseng kondisyon mayroon ang bata. 

          Bilang pagpapaalala, kung ang “development” niya ay kakaiba sa ibang bata, halimbawa, hindi pa siya nakakasalita at hindi mo maintindihan ang kanyang “behavior”, ito ay ating bigyang aksyon sa pamamagitan ng pagsuri sa ating sariling kakayahan. Kung itong mga problema na inyong nakikita ay hindi nadadaan sa “traditional” na pamamaraan, iyong karaniwang pagpapalaki sa atin, siguro ay kailangang gumamit tayo ng estratehiya na maaring kombinasyon ng pangkaraniwan at iyong pinag-aralan ng mga dalubhasa na tatawagin nating “technique”.

Una, tanggapin natin na kailangang may pagbabago. Kung naghahangad kayo ng “progress” sa kondisyon ng bata, nararapat lamang na pag-ibayuhin natin ang ating kaalaman at pagtibayin ang paniniwala na makakamtan ng bata ang “development”, maaring dahan-dahan, mabilis, o minsan ay wala – pero sa ibang aspeto ay nag uumapaw naman.

                    Itigil na natin na ikarga at ituring siyang “baby”. Tanggalin na ang “diaper” at ang “milk bottle” kung saan siya dumedede na parang sanggol. Sa ating pagtitiyaga at sakripisyo, father cuddling babyna turuan siya araw-araw, ang bata ay matututo. Inuulit ko, mas mabuting magsimula sa inyo ang “development” na inyong hinahangad sapagkat ang bata ay tumatanggap lamang ng mga bagay at eksperyensya na tayo ang nagtatakda. Kung itatakda mo na siya ay magdede, subuan ng pagkain, gawin ang aktibidad na dapat siya ang gumagawa, ikaw lang ang magkakaroon ng “development”, hindi ang bata. Kaya simula ngayon, tayo ang magtatakda ng “development” para sa bata.

Pangalawa, kung maari ang TV, cellphone, laptop, tablet at kung anu-ano pa ay dapat para sa matatanda lamang. Ang para sa bata ay libro, lapis, papel, krayola, at mga kagamitang makaka “develop” sa kanyang isipan. Kung may problema sa pagsasalita ang isang bata, mas lalong walang ganyang uri ng teknolohiya. Ang dapat gawin ay kausapin ang bata at kailangang hindi mabilis at dapat maririnig niya. Isang libo at limang daan na salita sa loob ng isang araw ay makakatulong sa bata upang maka impok ng lengguwahe. Hindi pwedeng pagsabayin ang TV viewing at dayalogo ninyong dalawa. confusedAng ingay sa TV at salita mo ay nagpapagulo lang sa daluyan ng “sound” papunta sa tenga. Sa ating pagtitiyaga at sakripisyo, na turuan siya araw-araw, ang bata ay matututo. Inuulit ko, mas mabuting magsimula sa inyo ang “development” na inyong hinahangad sapagkat ang bata ay tumatanggap lamang ng mga bagay at eksperyensya na tayo ang nagtatakda.

                   Panghuli, ang “behavior” ay nahahati sa dalawa – “appropriate” o katanggap-tanggap at “inappropriate” o iyong hindi kanais-nais at kakaiba keysa karaniwang bata na ka-edad niya. Ito ay mahirap unawain sapagkat hindi natin mabubuksan ang utak upang ito ay makita o ma “predict”. Subalit, may mga “behavior” na pwedeng matutunan. Pero ito ay nangangailangan ng matinding sakripisyo at tiyaga, “consistency” at palaging gagawin sa oras na ito ay magpapakita. Itigil na natin ang “spanking” o palo sapagkat ito ay panandalian lang at takot ang mamayani sa kanya. Ito ay negatibo sapagkat hindi pa niya kayang intindihin ang anumang “traditional” na disiplina na ipapataw sa kanya.

          Ang dapat gawin ay purihin o “praise” kung siya ay nakakagawa ng “appropriate” na gawain. “Ignoring” o sadyang hindi pagtingin at pagpansin sa kanyang “inappropriate” na ginagawa. Ito ay para sa mga hindi delikadong aksyon lamang at iyong hindi nakakasakit sa kanya at sa ibang bata. At pangatlo, “consequence” o ang pagbibigay ng parusa sa kanyang ginawa na hindi nararapat. Ang consequence ay maaring “time-out” o ang walang gagawin sa loob ng limang minuto, “response cost” o pagkuha sa mga kinahihiligan niya sa panahong iyon. Hindi na daanin sa pagsigaw at pangangaral. Konting salita lang po – ITO AY EPEKTIBO.

         crying child Sa loob ng isang linggo, ito ang inyong gagawin upang matugunan ang “development” niya. Kailangan na siya ay may “endurance” at “resiliency” na ang ibig sabihin ay may pasensya, may kakayanan na tanggapin ang iba’t-ibang eksperyensiya.

          1. Huwag ibigay ang gusto niya. Kailangang pumunta siya sa iyo. Huwag siyang pansinin kung iiyak. Tingnan siya at hintayin kung ano ang hakbang niya. Huwag mangangaral, sisigaw. Konting salita na mahinahon at maiintindihan niya ay mas epektibo. Bumilang ng 50 bago ibigay ang pagkain o inumin o laruan. Kailangan matuto siyang maghintay at mag “communicate” sa gusto niya.

          2. Maglaro kayo kahit sampung minuto at obserbahan siya sa sahig ng inyong living room. Hindi ka magtuturo. Masdan mo lamang siya. Ikaw ang kanyang magiging kalaro. Huwag mangangaral. Konting salita na mahinahon at maiintindihan niya ay mas epektibo.

* * * * *



Inihanda at Isinulat ni: Teacher Jun Polancos

Special Education

What Flight Are You On?

What Flight Are You On?
By: Cayetano Polancos Jr.
August 5,2013

There is a story of a woman who is speeding her car to the airport. In the highway, there is a traffic jam. She sees a car double-park, people crossing the street, buses loading and unloading passengers anywhere and vehicles waiting for the green light. carHoping she can escape, she takes the shortcut. Unfortunately, upon her journey to that unknown route she encounters much difficult scenarios: she is stuck in the muddy road because of a flat tire and worst she reads a small sign – dead-end.

Some parents of special needs children usually hopes for the regular route expecting to get things done easily, speedily and comfortably. However, there is no such thing as regular and shortcut routes to treatment. There is surely a better term – journey and process.

As you can see, traffic jam symbolizes the process of loading and unloading, learning and unlearning, double standard practices and people who confuse parents of the many myths and unproven alleviation to present childhood conditions. The shortcut route is the unforeseeable events when we rush things and it usually brings you to a dead-end thus bringing you again to the origin. In other words, you have to undergo a painstaking effort of starting all over again.

When things seem to fall apart, the dreams you have for the children seems to slip away and the frustrations piling up everyday, you tend to speed up like it’s a drag race trying to overtake the normal course of development. By doing so, you unnecessarily drag the child with your acceleration. When you are riding a sports vehicle, your child is steering a wagon. Let us see the analogy. Be cautious and not rush things. Be proactive. It’s easier to take the flight of truth now than take the immediate flight of escape which can eventually crash in the tarmac of anger and depression.

You have a choice.7317396-african-family-airport-cartoon Maybe the next flight, though long and exhausting, may lead you to the truth…that no matter what, it’s the journey that can make you see the beauty of life, appreciate more fully the positive and strengths of the child and the loving grandeur of God and how He chooses you among billions of human creations to be the vessel and carer of His special one.

Special Education

Autism Spectrum Disorder

What is Autism?

Autistic disorder (sometimes called autism or classical ASD) is the most common condition in a group of developmental disorders known as the autism spectrum disorders (ASDs).

Autistic children have difficulties with social interaction, display problems with verbal and nonverbal communication, and exhibit repetitive behaviors or narrow, obsessive interests. These behaviors can range in impact from mild to disabling. Autism varies widely in its severity and symptoms and may go unrecognized, especially in mildly affected children or when more debilitating handicaps mask it. Scientists aren’t certain what causes autism, but it’s likely that both genetics and environment play a role.

Is there any treatment?

There is no cure for autism. Therapies and behavioral interventions are designed to remedy specific symptoms and can bring about substantial improvement. The ideal treatment plan coordinates therapies and interventions that meet the specific needs of individual children. Treatment options include educational/bahavioral interventions, medications, and other therapies. Most professionals agree that the earlier the intervention, the better.

What is the prognosis?

For many children, autism symptoms improve with treatment and with age. Some children with autism grow up to lead normal or near-normal lives. Children whose language skills regress early in life, usually before the age of 3, appear to be at risk of developing epilepsy or seizure-like brain activity. During adolescence, some children with autism may become depressed or experience behavioral problems. Parents of these children should be ready to adjust treatment for their child as needed. People with an ASD usually continue to need services and support as they get older but many are able to work successfully and live independently or within a supportive environment.

What research is being done?

The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) conducts research in its laboratories at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and also supports additional research through grants to major medical institutions across the country. As part of the Children’s Health Act of 2000, the NINDS and three sister institutes have formed the NIH Autism Coordinating Committee to expand, intensify, and coordinate NIH’s autism research. More information about the Autism Coordinating Committee is available at http://www.nimh.nih.gov/research-funding/scientific-meetings/recurring-meetings/iacc/nih-initiatives/nih-autism-coordinating-committee.shtml. Eight dedicated research centers across the country have been established as “Centers of Excellence in Autism Research” to bring together researchers and the resources they need. The Centers are conducting basic and clinical research, including investigations into causes, diagnosis, early detection, prevention, and treatment of autism.


Special Education

Learning Disability

What are Learning Disabilities?

Learning disabilities are disorders that affect the ability to understand or use spoken or written language, do mathematical calculations, coordinate movements, or direct attention. Although learning disabilities occur in very young children, the disorders are usually not recognized until the child reaches school age. Research shows that 8 to 10 percent of American children under 18 years of age have some type of learning disability.
Is there any treatment?

The most common treatment for learning disabilities is special education. Specially trained educators may perform a diagnostic educational evaluation assessing the child’s academic and intellectual potential and level of academic performance. Once the evaluation is complete, the basic approach is to teach learning skills by building on the child’s abilities and strengths while correcting and compensating for disabilities and weaknesses. Other professionals such as speech and language therapists also may be involved. Some medications may be effective in helping the child learn by enhancing attention and concentration. Psychological therapies may also be used.

What is the prognosis?

Learning disabilities can be lifelong conditions. In some people, several overlapping learning disabilities may be apparent. Other people may have a single, isolated learning problem that has little impact on their lives.

What research is being done?

The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) and other Institutes of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) support research learning disabilities through grants to major research institutions across the country. Current research avenues focus on developing techniques to diagnose and treat learning disabilities and increase understanding of their biological basis.


Special Education

Shaping Pro Advocacy Campaign

Davao SPEDition is an advocacy concept that aims to improve special children’s lives through education.

Davao SPEDition is a project of allied health professionals, students of special education and paraprofessionals who have the passion to share their knowledge, skills, and talent to uplift and improve the lives of special children, their families, and their communities.


We shall be the leading exponent of Special Education in Davao City committed to the pursuit of quality and sustainable services for children with special needs.


To translate DAVAO SPEdition mission of service to special children, it hopes to achieve the following:

  • To initiate research projects in Special Education
  • To organize events for the benefit of the special children
  • To facilitate drama therapy for special children and youth who are at-risk.
  • To conduct awareness campaign on special needs of children to schools and communities in Davao City
  • To train paraprofessionals in home-based practice of Special Education and Rehabilitation of special children
  • To collaborate with other organizations for projects related to special children


1. To help communities in strengthening their programs particularly for the special children.

2. Create an ensemble of youth Creative Artists for the Promotion, Advocacy for Special Children especially Drama Therapy.

3. Coordinates with Developmental Pediatricians, Non-Government Organizations, Rehabilitation, SPED Centers, and Schools for the accommodation of special children

4. Participation of local and national celebrations for the welfare of the disabled

5. Volunteer training for professionals, students in home-based programs

6. Developmental training and education in selected bases of barangays during the SPEDition.

7. Consultation services extended to children’s parents and relatives.

8. To hold seminar-workshops about Detection and Intervention Processes for Special Children in far-flung barangays of the City of Davao

9. To promote social awareness in the rights of children with disabilities, referral processes to avail of the programs and services of the government and non-government organizations

10. To provide educational and rehabilitation opportunities to children with disabilities who cannot travel by encouraging home-based services of professionals trained by the SPEDition.

11. To put up a base in the barangay, to be the center for additional trainings and programs and also the center for activities for the development of special children.


1. DAVAO SPEDition focuses on programs and services that enhance special children’s self-esteem, development of their creative skills, and potential for growth.

2. DAVAO SPEDition supports and encourages the active participation of barangay leaders, professionals and student volunteers in the implementation of its projects.

3. DAVAO SPEDition believes in multiple intelligences theory that points to the different areas wherein a child can develop his or her potentials.

4. DAVAO SPEDition advocates for the protection of children’s right and their welfare.

5. DAVAO SPEDition believes and respects the rights of children, youth, and adults who are differently-abled.

SPED is about reaching out to those who are challenged physically, intellectually, and behaviorally. SPED requires compassion, thus it is a road less traveled.

SPED is about being a servant ready to answer the call of his master. The master is our Lord Jesus. He asks us to comfort the sufferings of the families with children who are abnormal in the world’s measuring stick. We do not judge. We care.

SPED gives opportunities for self-actualization.. that being accepted and acknowledged of possessing talents and skills are but the core of human fulfillment. By giving these chances for growth and development, by teaching them skills, by providing exposures, by giving information to the communities are insurmountable tasks for those whose hearts are closed. It is only in SPED that we can say that the only abnormality is the incapacity to love.

� Whoever receives one child such as this in my name, receives me ….. � (Mk 9:37).


The Catechism of the Catholic Church states: A child is not something owed to one, but is a gift. The “supreme gift of marriage” is a human person. A child may not be considered a piece of property, an idea to which an alleged “right to a child” would lead. In this area, only the child possesses genuine rights: the right “to be the fruit of the specific act of the conjugal love of his parents,” and the “right to be respected as a person from the moment of his conception” (CCC 2378).

Yes, the unborn child is God’s gift to the couple, the child must be cherished, nurtured and nourished by the family of man and woman. We, therefore, continue to affirm the Church’s condemnation of abortion and exploitation of the human embryo as a direct violation of the fundamental right to life of the human being. It is a crime surely abominable in the eyes of Mother Church.


Luke in his gospel describes the hidden life of Jesus in the following words: �He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them; and his Mother kept all these things in her heart. And Jesus advanced in wisdom and age and favor before God and man� (Lk 2:51-52). To advance in wisdom, age and favor before God and man, is to grow into maturity like our Lord. Growth into maturity is made possible through the education given by parents. The model of parental formation is the home of Jesus, Mary and Joseph in Nazareth. Yes, Nazareth in its simplicity, humility and hiddenness. Nazareth alludes to the family atmosphere of charity and respect. The family, after all is the first school — the right and duty to educate follows the right to give life. The heart of educating the child in the home is catechesis. Parents are the first catechists — they are called to echo the person of Christ. And their close collaborators are the schools and institutions of learning.

A most serious agenda in today’s Church is the formation of a correct conscience among the children. John Paul speaks of this imperative in the following words: Dearly beloved, the Apostle Paul reminds us of the necessity of being adult persons in the faith, mature in our judgments, possessed of a moral conscience capable of guiding our choices in harmony with “the truth in love.” The formation of conscience is a fundamental duty. The reason is very simple: our conscience can err. And when error prevails over it, it becomes a cause of greatest harm for the human person…“ (General Audience, August 24, 1983).

Home and school are bound to take the formation of correct conscience a serious endeavor. It is for this reason that we call parents and teachers to work closely as collaborators in education. We call upon the public school administrators and teachers to continue their support of catechesis in their schools; to open the doors of our schools to our catechists. We call upon Catholic learning institutions to continue strengthening religion as core of the curriculum


The gift of human life is called to greater LIFE! Every Filipino has one single aspiration: na maging ganap ang buhay dito sa Pilipinas. This aspiration can only be true in and through what John Paul calls an Ecology of Life over and against a Culture of Death. John Paul states: Children are the eloquent symbol and splendid image of these moral and spiritual conditions that are essential for entering the Kingdom of God and for living the logic of total confidence in the Lord. These conditions are simplicity, sincerity and receptive humility.

To reinforce an ecology of life, we need to become like little children — open to the grace of God and witnessing to his power. One can cite the little Therese of Lisieux who exclaimed: �I want to be a saint!� And the boy Dominic Savio and Maria Goretti, model of purity who lived uncompromisingly the words of truth: �Death rather than Sin!�

Children need models of holiness, of greater life: Therese of the Child Jesus, Dominic Savio, Maria Goretti, Tarcisius, Laura Vicu�a, Aloysius Gonzaga and Emerentiana. Who are they? Find out who they are — and imitate their lives. In explaining why Pius X lowered the age of first communion, the Pope said: �There will be saints among the children.� And indeed saints there have been. John Paul has a new challenge: There will be apostles among the children!May this prediction be true today.

Dear brothers and sisters, may the Holy Family of Nazareth be ever the model of every human family. May Mary, Mother of Life and Joseph, Guardian of the Redeemer accompany us as our children grow into the maturity of Christ.

With my sincerest and choicest blessings, I remain,

Sincerely in the Lord Jesus,