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.

03 September 2017

The Gobernadora is now ASP’s Executive Director

After almost four years of searching, ASP has found the right lady to fit the green shoes of its Executive Director. There was no need to look far and wide. It was all just a matter of timing. ASP National Past President (2012-2014) Mary Janette "Tita Jan" Peña started overseeing the society’s operations last 1 September 2017.

Tita Jan is often called “Gobernadora” by ASP leaders. After becoming the founding chapter president of ASP Bacoor in 2006, Jan proceeded to building thirteen more chapters in Cavite province from 2007 to 2016. By 2008, the Gobernadora pursued chapter building outside of Cavite province, and was instrumental in forming 21 more chapters nationwide. In between chapter building, Jan also served as Board Trustee of ASP National From 2008 to 2016. She is also concurrently the chapter president of ASP Dasmariñas.

Jan’s chapter building efforts contributed to increased public awareness on autism in Cavite province and in March 2011, she was chosen as Woman of the Year of Dasmariñas City. In September 2015, Jan and her family were conferred the 2015 Jollibee Family Values Award for their exceptional contribution to the empowerment of Filipinos with autism.

An effective resource speaker and facilitator for autism-related seminars for both private and public sector, Jan is backed by years of experience in teaching and training. She graduated with a degree in Psychology in UP, Diliman, and had started her master’s degree in Educational Management at Dela Salle University. She had been a high school and grade school teacher before becoming an instructional trainer and supervisor at the Philippine Refugee Processing Center in Morong, Bataan and a technical trainer for the US Peace Corps Philippines education program.

Tita Jan will be reporting the ASP National Board, headed by ASP National President Mona Magno-Veluz and will working with them on partnerships with government and the private sector, on chapter building and empowerment and on programs that will meet the ever-changing needs of the autism community. She will also be supported by the ASP Secretariat -- Cenin Faderogao, Abby Mendoza, Carla Banang, Lloyd Ngo, Paolo Guzman, Danmar Dayao and Christian Ambion.

Our new Executive Director comes with her own personal assistant! Her son Muneer, a newly-minted NC II barista with autism, is now a full-time volunteer at ASP, immersed in encoding and library work.

“If you search everywhere, yet cannot find what you are seeking, it is because what you seek is already in your possession.” -Lao Tse

25 August 2017

Carmel Almendrala nutures a new set of parents

The Family Support Group meeting was held last 19 August 2017 at Autism Society Philippines National Headquarters. ASP National Trustee Carmel Almendrala served as mentor to a group of young parents for the afternoon. The participants shared challenges they have been experiencing -- from occupational and speech therapy and other services around the learning environment, to financial difficulties, which was the biggest hurdle for many.

Everyone presented their joys and challenges -- something parents rearing child with autism all have. Tita Carmel shared practical advice and pragmatic techniques that could help with special needs parenting. The discussion covered picky eating, meltdowns, delayed speech and psychomotor skills, among others.

The meeting became lively when she reflected on the acceptance of autism by sharing the experiences of her son. Tita Carmel recalled the many challenges he faced -- from his personal obstacles to his fruitful career. She narrated Mike’s experiences through sports, especially when he won bronze medals at the Special Olympics World Summer Games, both in Dublin 2003 and Shanghai 2007, to which she affirmed that her son became a significant influence in the society’s acceptance of autism.

PWA artist Tomas Perez-Diaz, an Apolinario Mabini awardee, attended the FSG with his mom Nati.

One participant shared, “You have to invest in your child’s learning. What you put in is what you can pull out. Lots of patience.”

About the contributor: John Christian Ambion graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from World Citi Colleges - Antipolo. He works as a Junior Program Assistant in ASP and plans to take the Licensure Examination for Teachers in 2018.

23 August 2017

Family Support Group for the month of September

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.

Our facilitator for this session is Alejandro S. Cabason Jr. Alex served as Vice President of the Autism Society Philippines 2014-2016. Alex is a graduate of AB Political Science from the University of the East Manila and of MA in Public Administration from the University of the Philippines Diliman. This public servant, church worker and a motivational speaker is happily married with four children. His youngest child, Victor Lorenzo or Vinz, is on the spectrum. An ardent advocate of autism education since 2002.

Date: September 23, 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

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

21 August 2017

Sensory Integration Therapy and Children with Autism Seminar

It’s Too Loud! Don’t Touch Me! That Tastes Funny! Many people on the autism spectrum have difficulty responding appropriately to different stimuli in their environments. They may be classified as hypersensitive (frequently craving different types of sensations) or hyposensitive (lacking or having a low response to sensations). Any of the senses may be over- or under-sensitive, or both, at different times.

These sensory differences can affect behaviour and learning, and can have a profound effect on a person's life. Understand SI in non-technical terms. Find out its basic principles and application in home and school settings in order to address behavior problems of our special children.

About the Speaker:
Anna Yap Tan Pascual is a licensed occupational therapist, registered both in the Philippines and Australia. She took BS Occupational Therapy in 1992 and finished her Master in Rehabilitation Medicine in 2002 both at UP-Manila. Teacher Anna has several work experiences in Philippines, USA, Australia and China in the past 25 years being a pediatric occupational therapist. She organizes and serves as main speaker and facilitator for numerous seminars and workshops. She works with kids from 0 to 18 years old with various disabilities. Teacher Anna uses principles of sensory integration within a developmental framework to help preparechildren to be successful in the school and home settings.

Seminar Fees:
Pre-Registration (until September 19 or until slots last)
ASP Member- P 500.00
Non-Member- P 700.00

On-site Registration
ASP Member- P 600.00
Non-Member- P 800.00

Seminar Details:
Date: 23 September 2017, Saturday
Time: 8:00AM - 12:00NN
Venue: ASP National Headquarters, #9 11th Jamboree Street cor. Sct. Fuentabella, Brgy. Sacred Heart, Kamuning, Quezon City

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 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 70 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 02-410-4416.

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.

03 August 2017

Cooperative of ASP QC Chapters turns 5

It was one afternoon in July five years ago today, that 15 parents came together to deepen their friendship and commitment for the sake of their children with autism (CWA). Most of them are members of the different Quezon City chapters of Autism Society Philippines (ASP). Their objective is not only to strengthen their support group but to provide a better future for their CWA. The parents realized that only in coming together can they truly help their CWA as they become adults. Their logo therefore would be the ‘kapit-bisig’ and their motto ‘kayang-kaya kung sama-sama’.

The idea of a cooperative appealed to them as the platform with which to achieve this objective. A cooperative has democratic ownership and control because decision-making is done by all the members. The Kaakibat ng ASP Multi Purpose Cooperative was first registered as a credit cooperative in Feb 2013. Two years later it became a multi-purpose cooperative with the purpose of providing socialization activities, work opportunities and adult services/programs to their CWA. Other goals were to help parent financially for therapy and special education; and to establish a Center which will serve as a respite for parents and workshop for their CWA.

Since then, the cooperative has done activities for the children of their members. These included art activities like ‘katsa’ bags, Christmas cards and gift bags which are sold to friends and relatives. The CWAs were also taught to prepare sandwiches for events. Other regular activities included singing (like caroling) and sports like swimming and basketball. These activities not only give the CWAs opportunities for socialization and livelihood but also raise their self-confidence and self-worth.

This November, the KASP-MPC will be doing a benefit recital/musical to raise funds for their dream Center.

About the contributor: Josephine Palomares has long been the face of autism advocacy for ASP Diliman Chapter. After serving as the President of the chapter for multiple terms, she continues to serve the disability community as she leads the Kaakibat ng Autism Society Philippines Inc. Multipurpose Cooperative; and contributes as an active member of the Association for Adults with Autism. She owns and personally manages a thriving model airplane export business in Bulacan. Her son Macky is on the spectrum.

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