The Autism Society Philippines (ASP) is a national, non-profit organization dedicated to the well-being of persons with autism spectrum disorder. The ASP has been in the forefront of providing services and training to families living with autism.

24 May 2015

Seminar on Best Practices and Evidence-Based Interventions for Autism

Best Practices and Evidence-Based Interventions for Autism is a whole day seminar to discuss different topics about teaching techniques on how to teach individuals with autism and applying the principles of teaching. In this seminar not only teachers but also parents will learn the proper way of teaching and communicating with persons with communication deficits.

There will be three topics for the day. Morning session is Evidence-based Practices. The first one will delve into the established and emerging practices in teaching individuals with autism. Particular attention will be given to three evidence-based practices which are: prompting, reinforcement and video modeling.The second topic is Structured Teaching - Applying the Principles of TEACCH. Structured Teaching is an Applying the Principles of TEACCH in the Home and in the Classroom”. The seminar will include the rationale of structured teaching as well as specific strategies to make classrooms, homes and work environments more organized and predictable for individuals with autism.

Afternoon session topic is How to Set up a Communication System for Children with Autism.
Misses Mirandilla and Aguila will be sharing their knowledge and experience on how to establish an alternative and/or augmentative communication system for persons with communication deficits. They will show how a communication book or a Speech Generating Device can be set up and used to facilitate communication. An example of a speech generating device will also be shown and the reasons why AAC is so important will be discussed.

About the Speakers:

Maria Ruth Mirandilla, a Filipino based in California and has been serving as Special Education teacher in a K-3 Special Day Autism Class in Richmond,California, for the past 5 years. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Linguistics at University of the Philippines-Diliman, graduated Cum Laude. She took her Masters of Education in Special Education, Major in Teaching Children with Intellectual Disabilities at Philippine Normal University. She passed her California Basic Educational Skills Test last February 2011.

Maria G. Aguila, is a Filipino Special Day Class teacher based in California. She teaches K-3 students in one of the schools in Richmond, California. She started teaching in 2006 in different schools in California. Ms. Maria is a National Board Certified Teacher in Early Childhood through Young Adulthood/Exceptional Needs Specialist. She graduated Bachelor of Elementary Education at University of Sto. Tomas. In 2010 she finished her Education Specialist Instruction Credential at Sacramento State University.

Seminar Fees
Pre-reg *until June 23
ASP Member - P800
Non-member - P1000

On-site Registration
ASP Member - P1000
Non-member - P1200

Seminar Details
Topic: Best Practices and Evidence-Based Interventions for Autism
Date: 27 June 2015, Saturday
Time: 9:00AM - 4:00PM
Venue: Bridges Foundation, Inc. #22 Scout Limbaga St. Brgy. Laging Handa, Quezon City

Pre-registered participants may pay to Autism Society Philippines, Metro Bank, Kamias Branch Account Number 047-3-04751874-2. Please email the deposit slip with the name/s of participant/s at and bring it on the day of the seminar. On-site registrants will be accepted depending on the availability of slots. There will only be 40 slots available. No refund will be given to participants who do not show up on the date of the seminar. For more details, please call ASP at 02-926-6941 or 02-929-8447.

The ASP Education and Empowerment Program serves as a platform to educate Filipino parents and professionals on the various interventions, modalities and theories surrounding Autism Spectrum Disorder. Their application and implementation are left at your discretion. The views and personal experiences of the speakers are their own and may not necessarily reflect the views of the organization.

26 April 2015

Project Gourm-A to launch in Gourmet Gypsy Art Cafe

ASP is launching Project Gourm-A [pronounced gur-'may], a program which aims to showcase skills of individuals on the spectrum in the restaurant industry -- from cooks, to waiters, from back office staff to entertainers. We partnered with Open Hands School of Applied Arts and Gourmet Gypsy Art Cafe to bring the public a dining experience with a difference, featuring adults with autism.

The first Project Gourm-A dinner will happen on May 9, Saturday, 7pm at the Gourmet Gypsy Art Cafe, 25 Roces Avenue in Quezon City. The three-course dinner will be designed by Chef Waya Araos-Wijangco. Limited tickets are available for P1,000 at the ASP Office or via the link below. Proceeds from the dinner will help fund the programs and services for families who live with autism, at the ASP National Autism Resource Center, poised to open in July 2015 in Quezon City.

The Autism Society Philippines, through its A-OK Philippines program, aims to build an autism-inclusive society by working with government, businesses and schools to create institutional mechanism that inspire autism-friendly spaces, compassionate workplaces, more professionals on the spectrum and livelihood opportunities for PWAs and their families.

25 April 2015

Legazpi City advocates visit the ASP Laguna Autism Resource Center

Autism Resource Center (ARC) of ASP Laguna welcomed visitors from Legaspi City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO) and The Bridge Community represented by Arnel and Tiena Megino last 15 April 2015.

Ms. Merlene G. Menaya lead the visit as part of the “Annual Skills Enhancement and Exposure Tour” accompanied by Los Baños SWO III, Ms. Hanna Erika Erasga-Lavinia. It started with the orientation by the ASP Laguna Chapter President, Ms. Cathy Lopez. The group joined the trainees in the Aerobics activity headed by Ms. Deborah Sanchez, ARC Program Assistant and Ms. Ardee Deang, one of the volunteers of ARC. Quoted by one of the visitors, “I like this activity, it was such a wonderful experience to join the young adults with disabilities in executing physical activities. It reminds me to be health conscious as I shed sweat and followed the movements of the upbeat music”.

After spending time with the trainees, they were grouped into three and had a tour of the different stations. Ms. Vay Chavez explained the diner services in station 1; while Ms. Debs Sanchez shared the information on arts and crafts in making angel products in station 2. She also explained the process in maximizing scrap paper in making paper briquette. On the third station, Ms. Cathy Lopez elaborated more on the office and messengerial works. An open forum was held after the tour followed by filling up of evaluation forms. The tour in ARC ended with a photo op with the visitors.

Together with a parent and ARC volunteer, Mr. Eman Teodoro, they headed to Los Baños Community Center for Therapy Interventions and Support Services (LBCCTISS) located in Barangay Baybayin. Mr. Genaro Calderon, a parent leader, gave a short briefing on the history of the Center and its services. The group familiarized themselves with the facilities with the help of LBAPCD (Los Baños Association of Parents of Children with Disabilities) officers, Ms. Sally Solinap and June Gupo. Ms. Amorlina Cotoner also joined in welcoming the guests.

The guests visited two centers: ARC and LBCCTISS. ARC is one of the programs of ASP-Laguna Chapter which provides a work, live and play program to young adults with autism and other disabilities. On the other hand, LBCCTISS is one of the projects of ASP Laguna Chapter in partnership with the local government and a foreign grant support. LBCCTISS, inaugurated last 17 September 2014, caters to children with disabilities age 13 years old and below.

The couple Arnel and Tiena Megino expressed their intention to volunteer with ASP Laguna Chapter on its activities during their stay, which will last until August 2016. The couple are part of The Bridge Community, which is involved in water filtration ministry in the Philippines through its “Isaiah Project”.

About the Author. Ms. Catherine L. Lopez is a mother of a young adult with autism studying at UP Los Baňos. She is the Job Coach for the office and messenger services of Autism Resource Center. She also serves as the President of ASP Laguna Chapter.

23 April 2015

Jamming with Noel Cabangon

Family, friends and fellow advocates gathered for a benefit concert, presented by ASP-Diliman and Kaakibat ng ASP-QC Credit Cooperative last 20 March 2015 at Conspiracy Bar, Quezon City with Noel Cabangon as the lead performer and the teens of ASP Diliman doing the front act. The musical numbers showcased the versatile talents of teens with autism (TWA), in singing, and the use of instruments.

The night of music started at 7 p.m. and ended past midnight. The boys’ talents shone brightly, and their disabilities were hardly discernible. Songs were sang beautifully, and instruments were expertly played. Marcus “Macky” Palomares played like a professional pianist, entertaining the audience with his piano pieces. The Front Act numbers was started by a piano piece “Arabian Dance” performed by Andrei Gaban.

Then Vincent Benoza and Joshua Cana rendered a very inspirational performance as they sang “You Raised Me Up” to the accompaniment of Macky on the piano. A father and son Jun and Vico Cham as they sang “Can’t help Falling in Love”. Joseph, played the song “Canon” on flute with Macky on the piano. The Segui Family (mom Dra. Marie and Frederick, with Paula on the guitar and Gabby on the piano) performed the song “Kahit Maputi na ang Buhok Ko”.

During the main act, the guest star, Noel Cabangon sang many different songs that everyone enjoyed, such as “Ako ay Mabuting Pilipino.” For that night, he specially sang “ I Want to Live” by John Denver. He also shared a musical number with the ASP Diliman teens and parents with the song “Kanlungan.” One special teen Buddy Castro, had duet songs with his idol, Mr. Cabangon. A budding musician, Bolo Pascual shared his original song composition and entertained everyone as he sang and played the guitar. Bolo also shared that his special brother
is now learning how to play the piano.

It was a special night of music. It was made extra special with the presence of family members and friends, who boosted the morale of the special teens. The Board of Trustees of ASP also graced the occasion -- Dang Koe, Peng Koe, Evelyn Go and Grace Adviento. President Mona Veluz. Ms. Veluz also officiated the Oath Taking of ASP Diliman officers.

That night was another success for ASP Diliman. It highlighted the musical talents of ASP Diliman teens. Despite the challenges imposed by autism, these special teens are evolving as good musicians. That night also successfully raised seed funds for the Autism Center of Kaakibat ng ASP Cooperative.

About the contributor : Vania is 10 yrs old, Grade 4 in St Mary's College, Quezon City. She is a proud sibling to her Kuya Vincent who is on the spectrum.

21 April 2015

ASP CSFP in an Animal-Assisted Therapy for PWAs feature

The ASP City of San Fernando Pampanga Chapter members were honored guests at ABS-CBN’s “Salamat Dok” episode which tackled animal-assisted therapy for individuals with autism.

It was a gratifying experience as we were treated, as genuinely special guests. Our Chapter President, Joyla Ofrecia and her son and four more kids with autism and their companions were able to join the location shoot. We reached Camayan Beach Resort at 9:30pm where cozy family rooms were reserved for us and a sumptuous dinner was prepared by the shore.

The cameras started rolling at 9am the following day. We were directed to go to Ocean Adventure for the Dolphin Encounter; while the hosts, Bernadette Sembrano, Alvin Elchico Dr. Francis Samonte and Joyla Ofrecia talked about autism, its nature, signs and symptoms; and how dolphins and other animals can help children with autism.

In the background, the kids and mommies enjoyed a very close encounter with Zack, the smart dolphin -- assisted by dolphin trainers led by Kuya Paulo. We made him sing, waved hello, tickled its tummy, and the coolest trick was the water fight! The kids won’t stop hugging and kissing Zack. It was indeed, a very memorable experience for both mommies and the kids.

From picking us up in San Fernando via ABS-CBN van, up to driving us back home safe, we were all treated very well! Thank you, ‘Salamat Dok” for making our kids feel more special than they already are.

The episode aired on 18 April 2015, Saturday at 6am.

About the contributor. Melanie Liang is ASP CSFP Chapter Secretary and mom to 7-year-old Josh.

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