What we do not see behind the spectrum: a closer look at autism

Miranda is taking advantage of Cheo playing water fight with Teralynn to eat her own breakfast after a long morning.

Photo Essay By Grecia Villafuerte, CONTRIBUTOR

The term “spectrum” has become a word that encapsulates confusion and fear of the unknown for most of those unfamiliar with it. For Julian Cheo Ruiz Davila and his mother, Asuncion Miranda, the term ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) has become part of their life since little Cheo (as his loved ones call him) was diagnosed with the disorder at age 2.

Cheo, now four years old, lives with Miranda, a single mom and full-time student who tends to Cheo’s every need. Each day throughout Monday and Friday, Cheo receives Applied Behavior Analysis Therapy (ABA) that helps him with his speech, motor skills, and overall development.

Although for Cheo, routine is important. No two days are the same, some days are filled with laughter and energy, and others are days where he faces frustration and cries. But one trait is consistent for Cheo, and that is that he lights up any room he is in with his very energetic personality, precious smile, and most importantly the love he has for his mom.