Katrina Halili reveals daughter Katie has mild autism
Katrina Halili revealed that her nine-year-old daughter Katie with singer Kris Lawrence is suffering from mild autism spectrum disorder (ASD), as she vowed to dedicate most of her time in taking care of her child.
Halili opened up about being a protective mother to Katie during a “Fast Talk with Boy Abunda” interview last Tuesday, July 25, where she noted that despite her daughter’s diagnosis, it remains at a mild state.
“Actually after pandemic, na-realize ko na wala akong time sa anak ko simula noong ipinanganak ko siya dahil after ng show, dere-derecho,” she said. “T’as nine na siya, meron po siyang ASD, autism spectrum disorder. So pina-check ko siya sa doctor, sabi kailangan ko na siyang tutukan hanggang mag-12 kasi baka lumala, pero nasa mild lang naman po siya.”
(Actually, I realized that I don’t have time for my child after the pandemic. Because when I gave birth to her, I started working again from one show to another. Then when she turned nine, she was diagnosed with ASD, autism spectrum disorder. So I sought the help of a doctor who told me that I have to keep track of her condition until she turns 12 because it might get worse, although her condition remains mild as of now.)
The actress, who’s currently based in Palawan, then shared that she decided to cut down on work to focus on taking care of her daughter.
“Nag-decide ako na mag-cut ng work, magpaalam sa GMA na one soap na lang ako a year para [matutukan] ko ang sarili ko sa anak ko (I decided to cut off my work. I asked the permission of GMA if I can just work on one soap opera so I can focus on my daughter),” she added.
During the interview, Halili also confessed that Katie’s condition taught her how to be more patient as a mother, especially when it comes to communicating with her.
“Kami ng mama ko, sinasabi ko naman before na hindi kami masyadong close ng mama ko, hindi kami nag-uusap. Kaya ngayon ina-apply ko sa anak ko na kailangang mag-usap kami,” she said.
“Kung mapagalitan ko man siya, kausapin ko siya nang malumanay [kung bakit ‘yun nangyari]. Hindi pwedeng sigaw, sigaw, sigaw [lang ako palagi] kasi mas pipiliin ng anak ko na kausapin ‘yung iba kaysa ako. Gusto ko ako ang kausapin niya,” she continued.
(I previously spoke about me not being that close with my mother. We don’t talk much. So, this is why I’m applying my previous experiences to my daughter where we have to maintain proper communication. If ever I get mad at her, I will talk to her gently after to explain why this incident happened. I can’t shout at her all the time because she would choose to talk to someone else. I want her to talk to me.)
The “StarStruck” alum also shared that she sent Katie to Earth School in El Nido, Palawan, which according to its website, aims for “outcome-based education, thematic learning, and project-based learning” in hopes of saving the environment.
“Napakaswerte lang namin ni Katie na last year lang kami tumira d’un tapos last year din nag-open ‘yung The Earth School. Iba siya sa [traditional schools], tinuturuan nila ang mga students na maging independent, magtanim, maglakad sa forest [and] sa beaches,” she said.
(Katie and I are very lucky because we’ve been living there since last year, which happens to be the same year The Earth School opened. It’s different from traditional schools. It teaches students how to be independent, plant trees, and explore forests and beaches.)
Halili started her career as a contestant of the reality show “StarStruck” in 2003, where Kapuso stars Jennylyn Mercado and Mark Herras eventually emerged as the winners.
The actress went on to appear in several TV shows, usually as an antagonist, including “Marimar,” “Rosalinda,” and “Mars Ravelo’s Darna,” among others. EDV