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.

07 April 2017

Reclaiming the word "Autistic"

I have been in the autism advocacy long enough to know of many parents who freak out every time someone calls their child on the spectrum "autistic". So as we approach World Autism Awareness Acceptance Day, I wanted to deep dive into the semantics of autism.

The United Nations recommends "person first" language (e.g., person with autism) where one's humanity comes before their disability. This has met much dispute from self-advocates who argue that the "identity first" language (e.g., autistic person) is the mark of genuine acceptance and of a society that does not demonize an exceptionality that is part of who they are.

The word "autistic" has, in recent history, become an inaccurate insult -- which can mean anything from unintelligent to ugly to selfish to myopic or shortsighted. This seems to be a phenomenon more prevalent in American English-speaking countries and is atypical, if not unheard of, in British English-leaning nations.

1Pangako

Four years after the Autism Society Philippines launched the 1Pangako campaign, there is a need to reiterate that "autistic" is an adjective that describes someone with an ASD diagnosis or traits characteristic to one with the condition. In this context, it is acceptable and accurate.

How can we explain to our children with deficits in grasping nuances of language that "having autism" is okay; but to be called "autistic" is an insult? This confusing position is a result of people themselves getting convinced that the word, made into a slur by the igno is malicious.

It is a virtual minefield to maneuver around disability language. The most pragmatic approach is to ask the individuals or family members who live with autism how they want to be referred to. Better still, avoid the label.

Skipping the slur

Calling on autism mommies and daddies -- I see the need to reclaim the word "autistic".

Autism is associated with enviable qualities. To be autistic means to be focused on things one is passionate about. To be autistic means to have great memory. To be autistic means being able to pay attention to details. To be autistic means to be a loving child.

The word "autistic" need not be negative.

What does being autistic mean to you?

About the contributor. Mona Magno-Veluz is the National President of the Autism Society Philippines. She speaks publicly on disability advocacy, leadership, and genealogy. Aside from being a practising marketing communications professional, Mona is a wife and a mom to three kids. Her eldest, Carl, is an adult on the spectrum who is active in the community -- working their family business, tending to his budding web enterprise and planning for his future cafe. This article originally appeared on Mighty Magulang on 31 March 2017.

05 April 2017

Barista Training for Adults with Autism

The Center for Excellence in Special Education (Stepping Stone) Foundation, Inc has developed a barista program for adults with autism, that aims to build the necessary skills for successful employment in the hospitality and food industries, offering a certification issued by Technical Education and Skills Development (TESDA).  They have partnered with the Autism Society Philippines to offer the program to its members.  The tuition fee for twenty (20) full-day sessions is eleven thousand two hundred pesos (P11,200) -- computed at P14,000 less 20 percent PWD discount.


If the trainee is interested in a full scholarship, the following terms and criteria apply.

1) Trainee (not the parents) must be an ASP member in good standing. He/She must have been formally diagnosed with autism by a competent professional, must have a PWD ID which attests to his/her disability and is at least 18 years old.

2) Trainee must be able to work independently in the classroom and in the kitchen (without parent or caregiver); and must be able to understand and execute based on verbal instruction. Any incidence of verbal or physical aggression shall be grounds for expulsion from the program.

3) Trainee must commit to attending twenty-five (25) full-day sessions at the Center for Excellence in Special Education (Stepping Stone) Foundation, Inc. – Sucat Campus at 8001 Del Carmen Street, Inside St. Rita Village, BF Homes, Sucat, ParaƱaque City. Tardiness and absence will mean expulsion from the program.

4) Trainee shall pay for the full cost of the program to Stepping Stone – in the event that he/she is expelled from the program for any reason. The payable amount is eleven thousand two hundred pesos (P11,200) -- computed at P14,000 less 20 percent PWD discount.

5) Trainee shall be responsible for miscellaneous costs such as, but not limited to, uniform, lunch and snacks, and transportation.

6) Trainee shall participate in interviews, tests and surveys, as required by Stepping Stone, the ASP or a potential employer.

7) Trainees and their families shall grant permission for the photos and videos taken during the conduct of the training to be used by Stepping Stone or the ASP for educational, promotional or advocacy purposes.

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Those interested in enrolling in the program, but do not qualify for the scholarship criteria, may contact Stepping Stones directly via email: dayal@steppingstone.ph.

This who are interested and qualify for the scholarship may email their resumes to autismphils@gmail.com with the email subject "BARISTA TRAINING: Name of Trainee".  Adults with autism applying for the program and his/her parent will be screened and interviewed after Holy Week.



03 April 2017

Seminar Workshop on Response to Crisis Behavior

Tantrums, meltdowns and aggressive behaviors often occur with special needs children. Parents, teachers, caregivers, and anyone who interacts with the child should know how to respond to these events.

This seminar-workshop will help participants understand the course of crisis behaviors, will provide tips on deescalating behaviors before they become meltdowns and provide practical tips on how to avoid injury for both child and adult when aggressive behaviors occur.

This will be a whole day seminar-workshop. Since it will involve physical exercises which will require more open spaces, participants will be limited to 30. Only the first to register will be accommodated. Registered participants should come in comfortable attire which will allow them to move (jewelry or sharp accessories are discouraged).

For those who will be unable to register for this session, they can join the next one in succeeding months.

The Speaker:

Cecile Sicam is one of the 11 original founders of the Autism Society Philippines.  She has served ASP in many capacities, as President from 2001 to 2004; and as its current Secretary.  Cecile has been teaching children with special needs for more than 2 decades. She taught SpEd for three years Santa Clara, California; and came back to serve Filipino children with special needs. She was instrumental in the founding of Professionals for Autism Foundation, Inc., Center for Autism and Related Disorders, the Philippine Association for Behavioral Analysis. She is currently one of the Program Coordinators of Bridges Foundation, Inc. Her adult son, Likas, has been employed for more than a decade.

Seminar Fees
Registration (is until April 25 or until slots last)
ASP Member – P 1000.00
Non-member – P 1, 200.00

Seminar Details:
Date: 29 April 2017, Saturday
Time: 8:00AM - 4:00PM
Venue: ASP National Headquarters, #9 11th Jamboree Street cor. Sct. Fuentabella, Brgy. Sacred Heart, Kamuning, Quezon City
Map: http://bit.ly/1LwgklB

Pre-registered participants may pay to Autism Society Philippines, Metrobank, Kamias Branch Account Number 047-3-04751874-2. Please email the scan copy of your deposit slip with the name/s of participant/s and contact numbers to autismphils@gmail.com and bring it on the day of the seminar. On-site registrants or walk- in will be accepted depending on the availability of slots. There will only be 30 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 02-413-1942 or 02-410-4416.

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.



01 April 2017

ASP PWAy Day for the months of April and May 2017

I absolutely love to relax and have fun. I like socializing; I like chatting. I like dancing, mixing with friends. --- Gwendoline Christie

The Autism Society Philippines Wednesday "PWAy Day" aims to provide enrichment for teens and adults with autism who are not currently enrolled in schools. ASP PWAy Days will offer opportunities to learn new skills, to socialize with non-family members and to have fun. This will be every Wednesday, from 2pm to 4pm at ASP Headquarters. This is open to all PWAs, 16 years old and above .



On April 5 - we will start our PWAy Days with a Karaoke session. This will lets you sing songs with YouTube, show off your voice and let your inner star shine! Participants will choose their favorite song, either love songs, slow songs, classic, modern, ballads... whatever you like to call them! 

On April 19 - Miss Donna Lim  and Vince Mercado will  conduct a class on Zumba+MixxedFit - a fun energetic dance fitness workout program which is typically about an hour long. It will involves dance fitness and aerobic movements performed to energetic music. The choreography incorporates hip-hop, soca, samba, salsa, merengue and mambo. Squats and lunges are also included.

On April 26 - we will have a Sensory-Friendly Movie - This will provides a sensory friendly environment for individuals with autism for whom the environment is suitable and their families to watch the movie. These screenings will allow bringing up the lights, turning down sound volume, allowing families/PWAs to bring in their own snacks. PWAs can get up, dance, walk, shout, sing, go in and out of the room.

On May 3 - we will have a Cooking session. PWAs will cook Potato Hotdog - a simple yummy and quick food to prepare. This will teach the PWAs on proper food hygiene, simple food preparation, and presentation. Participants must bring their own hair net, apron, and closed shoes (no slippers or sandals please). Prepare a P150 donation when you get on-site.

We would like to foster independence among our participants. But if needed, a maximum of one (1) companion per PWA will be allowed in the training room. To attend, simply sign up on the form below and prepare a P50 donation on every activity (except for cooking session) when you get on-site.

"Adults with autism who are no longer in school end up in the fringes of society." Mona Magno-Veluz, ASP National President shares, "ASP is deeply invested in building a society where a individuals with autism be the best of their potentials -- self-reliant, independent, productive and socially-accepted members of the community -- no matter where they are on the spectrum. By keeping PWAs active and engaged outside the home, we are also training the society to be more aware of what autism is, to be more appreciative of their gifts and to be more accommodating of their deficits."


29 March 2017

Family Support group on April 2017

ASPs monthly family support group sessions bring together parents, siblings and other family members to talk about their journey in living with autism. Participants share their experiences and draw enlightenment and strength from others going through the same challenges. We welcome members and non-members to this intimate gathering. New ASP members are encouraged to join.

Cecile Sicam is one of the 11 original founders of the Autism Society Philippines. She has served ASP in many capacities, as President from 2001 to 2004; and as its current Secretary. Cecile has been instrumental in the founding of Professionals for Autism Foundation, Inc., Center for Autism and Related Disorders, the Philippine Association for Behavioral Analysis. She taught SpEd for three years Santa Clara, California; and came back to serve Filipino children with special needs. She is currently one of the Program Coordinators of Bridges Foundation, Inc. Her adult son, Likas, has been employed for more than a decade.

Date: April 22, Saturday
Time: 1:00PM - 4:00PM
Venue: Autism Society Philippines National Headquarters
Address: #9 11th Jamboree Street cor. Sct. Fuentabella, Brgy. Sacred Heart, Kamuning, Quezon City
Map: http://bit.ly/1LwgklB

Sign up for the Family Support Group via the on-line form below or call 413-1942 or 410-4416. Only 15 seats are available.


 
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