When Giuliano was growing up, his mother, Teresa Márquez, and his father began to notice that he was not walking, he was not looking at his eyes, and he was not answering when they called him by name. When he started walking, just two years ago, he was back to normal. She fell, hit herself, tripped over different objects and hit her head against the furniture.
Since his birth, Giuliano was treated by a pediatrician before the repeated consultations of his parents, he told them that “el nene had nothing”. And, apparently, the routine checks were good.
Sin embargo, Teresa and her husband were not at all satisfied with these answers and decided to consult with Dr. María Virginia Chichizzola, who, upon seeing him and hearing what his parents were telling him about Giuliano’s development, informed them about and a presumptive diagnosis of autismwhich had to be confirmed by different studies.
“I felt anxious and confused”
In September 2016, Giuliano, who had three years and two monthsthey performed resonances and encephalograms under sleep, among other tests, which showed that had autism. “When they gave me the diagnosis I felt much fear, I didn’t know what I was facing. Me hice la típica pregunta que nos hacemos todos de “¿por qué a mí”. I felt anxious, confused and cried all the way back home”.
During a few days, Teresa was in shock. He needed to do a duel, although he knew that he couldn’t take much time because his younger son needed to start as early as possible with the therapies: Psicomotricidad, Occupational Therapy, Psicopedagogía and Phonoaudiology. “It was a long road where the evolution was slow, but it was a long way because the interdisciplinary team supported us a lot. We had to get used to the routines and the hours”.
Discrimination, sadness and disappointment
According to his mother, Giuliano’s schooling stage was very difficult because in the city in which he lives he encountered many barriers and ignorance in relation to his disability. “Al commensar sala de cuatro, Giuli was a child who still found it difficult to be among people and socialize with his peers. We felt discriminated by various institutions that passed on my son’s rights and never respected us”.
Due to the lack of empathy and sensitivity, Teresa and her husband decided to move Giuliano twice from the garden until they found an institution, about 20 kilometers from their city, that opened its doors so that they could finish the sala de cinco. “That’s where I met for the first time the support and empathy of a headmistress and teachers who provided a place for Giuli where she is currently attending primary school”.
Teresa describes the relationship that Giuliano has with his peers and his teachers as “wonderful” and says that the boys learned to integrate him into their circle. “Lo apoyan mucho, lo cidan, lo contenien, le demures su amor, passan momentos muy lindos. A sus docentes las abraza y las besa. He has a master integrator who has also achieved very significant advances for him”, he says excitedly.
He found his life’s mission
A few years have passed since Teresa found out about her son’s diagnosis and, that time and the achievements he was showing, allowed him to actively accept what had happened.
And in the middle of the progress and the good news that came from the school, the coronavirus appeared, which, like for everyone in the world, marked an before and after in his life. He couldn’t continue taking Giuliano to therapy, but as he couldn’t stop all his progress, he decided to start studying the career of Therapeutic Companion in order to help him at home. Sin embargo, at that moment he still did not imagine that it could be a mission that would not only serve to help his son, but also other people.
“What I like most is being able to be at the service of others”
Before the pandemic, Teresa had worked as a babysitter and looked after older adults. But at the end of 2020, he began to think about the possibility of taking seriously everything he had learned remotely. By chance, the other mothers, who also had children with autism, approached her to ask for advice, an opinion and words of encouragement and hope. “Esas idas y vueltas me ayudaron a ver que podia darles una orientation a otras personas, que podia ayudarlos alguna manera”.
Y de esa forma se fue animando hasta que su nueva profession se fue transformando de a poquito en su nuevo trabajo. At the moment, he offers his services as a therapeutic companion for an NGO, dictating cognitive stimulation workshops for older adults.
“What I like most is being able to be at the service of others, being able to offer contentment, looking for life projects and encouraging them to achieve what they propose”.
His son’s legacy
Teresa says that Giuliano taught her to be strong, to put down her arms, to set goals and fulfill them regardless of the time it takes. She is convinced that he is the engine that always drives her to go for more.
“I would say to the parents of disabled children that no se rindan, que sigan lucando siempre. No matter the obstacles we have to overcome, everything is worth it for our children: every tear and every smile gives us the courage to move forward. Y never have to lower your arms because our love towards them will always be infinite and this will always motivate us”.