Actress Kris Aquino pushed to advocate autism awareness

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 15) — It's nothing new for Kris Aquino to talk about her two sons, Josh and Bimby, on her social media accounts.

But this time, a netizen caught her attention because of a request — that Kris begins using her influence to advocate autism awareness.

The idea came from the comments section of one of the actress' Instagram posts. On Wednesday, Kris shared a photo of her and Bimby and said she always feels loved because of her two sons. She said that for the mean time, she won't be posting photos of Josh because he is going through skin treatment.

A netizen noted that because of Kris' strong influence, she could be a "spokesperson" for kids who have autism spectrum disorder (ASD), just like her son Josh.

"I'm sure there's a lot of families out there who are unaware of this disability," the netizen wrote. "I'm sure you would help a lot of families."

However, Kris responded saying she thinks she is not the right person because her experience has been different coming from a place of privilege.

"I'm being 100% honest, Kuya Josh has had the best intervention possible because I had the financial means," the actress replied.

She also said she refuses to do so because Josh has been "bullied enough."

"It is easy to request but try mong mabasa na 'mongoloid,' 'abnoy,' 'karma ng buhay nyo' everytime may political issue na walang kasalanan si Josh & you'll understand me," she added.

[Translation: It is easy to request but try reading comments calling him "mongoloid," "abnormal," "karma of your life" every time there is a political issue where Josh isn't involved and you'll understand me.]

But another netizen was persistent, saying this is Kris' chance to leave a legacy as there is limited knowledge on ASD and facilities that would cater to children who have it in the country.

"If your parents gave us the democracy, maybe this advocacy can be your ticket to be forever in the history of our country," the netizen said.

To this, Kris said that she has to consider her kids first before coming forward to serve as the voice for moms who have children with autism.

She said, "That decision doesn't just affect me but affects my 2 sons- do they deserve further bullying?"

She added, however, that she may change her mind someday. "Respect my choice now & who knows- time will come that I shall be ready," she said.

According to the World Health Organization, one in every 160 children has ASD. In the Philippines, the Council for the Welfare of Children reported a rise in cases of autism from 500,000 in 2008 to one million in 2017.