For allstar ground staff Klarisse Yu, a single mom to a son with special needs, a day is not enough to get everything done. Two years after giving birth, Klarisse learned that her son manifested signs of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). According to medical studies, ASD is a complex developmental condition that involves persistent challenges in social interaction, speech, and nonverbal communication, and restricted/repetitive behaviors while ADHD is a neurological disorder that impacts the parts of the brain that help us plan, focus on, and execute tasks. “Raising a child who needs special care requires a lot of love and patience. What makes it more challenging than usual is the fact that I have to be a mom and dad in one,” Klarisse shared. Thankfully, she has strong support from her own mom, who has always been there to support and fill in while Klarisse works hard to make a living for the family. Her typical day would start at dawn. Before taking the 5 a.m. ride to the office, she needs to prepare her son’s meals, clothes and home school requirements. During break hours at the office, she checks on him through a video call. When she arrives home, she feeds and bathes him before finally kissing him good night. “He is my source of strength. I continue to persevere at work because I want to build a better future for him. If there’s a silver lining amid the global pandemic, that would be me finding more time to bond with my son, getting to know him more, and attending to his needs the best way I can. I am always grateful to have been given such a beautiful blessing from God,” Klarisse said. Klarisse’s wish, like many others, is simple: for the pandemic to end soon so she and her son can live a normal life again. “I look forward to the day that this pandemic ends. My son had to stop from going to school as kids with his condition aren’t suitable for online learning. They need special attention which only a regular class can give,” she said. Meanwhile, a smile on her child’s face is enough to complete allstar cabin crew Kathryn Morancil’s day, who has been flying with AirAsia for 10 years now.
Apart from taking care of others, Karen reminds all moms to take good care of themselves, too. “Although we are always nurturing others, we must never forget that we too need some pampering whether it be spiritual, emotional, or even a spa day at home. This way we equip ourselves with enough vigor that we can share to our loved ones and our community,” she said.