When “Budoy” was first aired, I was so happy to learn the fact that, finally, the media is paying more attention to what could be a rapidly growing problem in our society today – the increasing number of kids and individuals who have developmental delays of various causes. I’ve been practicing Occupational Therapy for more than 3 years now and I’ve handled different cases of children and adults with special needs – from autism, ADHD, cerebral palsy, mental retardation to adults with physical and psychiatric conditions. To have a teleserye that empathizes with a lot of parents and families with kids with developmental disabilities would be a great help in rising awareness to those who would resort to confining their loved ones with mental retardation at home for life, or even wasting several years in “denial” then later on deciding to act on it only to find out there’s so much more they could have done years before.
It was so disappointing that they didn’t conduct a thorough research when they attempt to deal with medical cases. Gerald Anderson’s acting ability is unquestionably very plausible, the way he deliver and portray a mentally challenged individual. It’s primarily the loopholes in the script and story line that is making this television series not as excellent as to what it could have been.
If I would watch Budoy as a medical professional, I’d look for the big details they missed out such as, Budoy‘s exact medical diagnosis. Now that the character Budoy found out that he came from a rich family, they could have tried all medical interventions a mentally challenged individual might need (and a medical doctor would always recommend) say, Occupational Therapy and Special Education. It would have been better if from there, they gradually habilitate Budoy to be a more functional individual, instead of miraculously making him so smart right after he incurred a coma from a lightning shock. Who are they kidding? Moreover, the story is more focused now in the sibling rivalry and love triangle among the characters.
Now the even greater problem remains…how the parents with children with mental retardation and developmental delays perceive Budoy. I have parents constantly asking me, “teacher paglaki ba ng anak ko magiging katulad din ni Budoy?”… “ibig sabihin teacher may pag-asa ring tumalino yung anak ko kahit nadiagnose with severe MR?” And so, I go on and on explaining to them… Budoy is a fictional character. What works with somebody might not necessarily work for everybody. It’s always best to consult your developmental pediatrician or doctor regularly. Collaborate with your child’s SpEd teachers and therapists as to how to follow-up treatment at home. Above all, always be vigilant to the changing needs of your growing child.