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 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.

01 August 2017

Parent Sharing on the Son-Rise Program

Learn simple, yet effective, Son-Rise strategies that have helped parents encourage their children with autism to look at them, use verbal and non-verbal communication, interact socially and become more flexible. Find out what makes the Son-Rise Program different from other therapies. This is open to parents, professionals and adult caregivers of children of all ages challenged by autism and related development difficulties.

About the Speaker:
Michelle Tambunting is an early childhood educator, lecturer and writer who runs an inclusive preschool in Manila. She and her husband, Victor, are parents to two boys, aged 10 and 6. Her younger son, Luis, was diagnosed with autism at 2 years old. While enrolled in an ABA center and doing speech and OT interventions, Michelle rediscovered The Son-Rise Program, through a friend. She had watched the movie about Raun and his family many, many years back while researching for a paper on autism in college. She joined the Start-Up in May 2015 and life for their family has never been the same since. They saw so many wonderful changes in Luis just with adopting the Son-Rise lifestyle soon after she returned from the course. After she, her husband, her older son and two volunteers worked with Luis in the playroom for almost a year and a half, Luis’ flexibility, speech, sensory issues and self-regulation greatly improved. Luis is now in a fully inclusive class with 20 other neurotypical children, thriving, making friends and having loads of fun!

Because of how life-changing The Son-Rise Program was for the whole family, Michelle continues to share with other families about the gifts of the program and the many small miracles they have experienced with Luis. After attending Raun’s lecture in October 2016, the entire teaching staff at the preschool which Michelle co-founded in 1999, has adopted Son-Rise principles as a way to foster inclusion, compassion, acceptance and love in their classrooms. This has truly helped many other children, aside from Luis. Michelle, Victor and their family look forward to sharing the blessings of The Son-Rise Program to many more families, educators and practitioners who work with children on the spectrum.

Seminar Details:
Seminar Fee: P 300.00
Deadline of Registration and payment: August 16, 2017 4PM (First come first serve)
Date: 19 August 2017, Saturday
Time: 9:00AM - 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 80 slots available. No refund will be given to participants who do not show up on the date of the parent sharing. 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.

31 July 2017

Family Support Group for the month of August

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 month is Autism Society Philippines National Trustee Carmel Almendrala. A former ambassador’s wife and an Ulirang Ina Awardee of 2010, Carmel personifies diplomacy as she faces the world with poise, grace and intelligence. Over the years and in the many countries where their family has had to relocate because of her husband's work, she laboured tirelessly to advocate for her son Michael, now in his 40’s. Serving as Trustee for more than seven terms, she reminds young mothers of children with autism: Grab every opportunity and don’t take no for an answer. This is evident in her son Mike, who is a Special Olympian Medalist (who competed in 2005 in power lifting and in 2013 in bowling), a 2005 Apolinario Mabini Awardee, and an independent member of the community working as an administrative staff of the Philippine Information Agency.

Date: August 19, 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 413-1942 or 410-4416. Only 15 seats are available.

27 July 2017

ASP PWAy Day for the month of August and September

I think it's more important to be fit so that you can be healthy and enjoy activities than it is to have a good body. Rachel Blanchard

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 August 2 - Join our MixxedFit Dance with Certified Mixxedfit Instructor Miss Donna Lim as she will lead this innovative dance-fitness. We dance to today’s hits and yesterday’s favorites with repetitive and easy to follow dance steps. Attendees will wear comfortable workout clothes, such as leggings, workout pants, or shorts, wear appropriate footwear, do NOT wear sandals, flip flops, ballet shoes, hiking boots, or running shoes and bring water and towel.

On August 9 - we will have Acrylic Painting in a Canvas with Teacher Ann Vitug - Acrylic paints are known to be more flexible than other types of paints. This means that as the canvas or siding expands and contracts due to temperature changes, the paint will stretch and compress rather than crack. In this activity,this will help people with autism to develop their social skills, to enhance their verbal communication and can address Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD). This session will enhance the creativity of the PWAs and develop their natural artistic abilities. PWAs will just bring their own paint brushes, acrylic paints and extra shirt.

On August 16 - we will have a Sensory Friendly Movie. This 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. This will provide a more accepting and comfortable setting for our special audience.

On August 23 - we will have Mandala Plate Painting by Amos Manlangit - Mandala/Craft Artist Amos Manlangit will help participants make a special mandala on a ceramic plate using personalized pictographs and symbols. Because mandalas require attentive focus and calmness to create and color, mandalas can help to cultivate mindfulness, self-awareness, and stress relief. This session will also enhance the creativity of the PWAs and develop their natural artistic abilities.

On September 6 - we will have Terracotta Clay Workshop by Mary Ann Mendoza‐Uy - This activity is a hand‐formed Clay Workshop. Educator and Artist Mary Ann Mendoza will conduct a special workshop in hand formed sculpture using terracotta clay. Discover the creative side of the PWAs, relax and indulge in a fun and unique experience. This activity will enhance sensory development, motor skills, self-esteem, and self-expression, problem solving skills, discipline, and pride. Clay also has a uniquely therapeutic quality which settle and calm children hence it retains their attention for hours.

"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."

13 July 2017

“Beautiful Pain” shines light on autism acceptance

The film “Beautiful Pain” traces the emotional journey of a family towards acceptance of their son’s autism. The autism advocacy community came out to support the Philippine gala premiere of “Beautiful Pain” at the SM Megamall Cinema 1.

The film, which represented Malaysia at the 89th Academy Awards and the 74th Golden Globe Awards, is a deliberate, tender study of autism and human nature. Director Tunku Mona Riza has been gratified by the response by the global autism community. “This film has become a voice for them,” Mona told journalists at the film’s Oscar screening earlier in the year. The filmmaker researched on autism for more than two years and worked with advocates at the National Autism Society of Malaysia, resulting in the instructional simplicity in the handling of autism as an allied medical subject matter.

Director Tunku Mona Riza flew in for the Philippine gala premiere.

“Redha” is a Malay word with no accurate English translation (much like Tagalog’s “utang na loob”) – “joyful surrender to God’s will” comes close. “Filipinos find connections in “kurot-puso” stories,” Mona Magno-Veluz, National President of the Autism Society Philippines. “The film will help the public understand what persons with autism go through. By sharing this film with the mainstream Filipino audience – this synthesis of the experiences of many families who live and love with autism regardless of color, religion or social strata -- ASP hopes to inspire acceptance, accommodation and appreciation of persons with autism, towards a genuinely autism-inclusive Philippines.” According to ASP, 1 in 100 Filipinos are on the autism spectrum.

The film revolves around Danial, who lives with his parents Alina and Razlan in an island resort in Malaysia, where the early signs of his autism play out. The lead characters’ strained emotional bond is balanced by the kindness of Alina who is accepting of her son’s diagnosis. But Alina is plagued by a misplaced sense of responsibility for Danial’s autism, even ignoring her health in self-reproach. Through her journey, she finds a supportive network of advocates in her college friends, her sister, her husband’s co-workers, her specialists and even a stranger in a gas station. The reluctant Razlan struggles with his son’s condition, resulting in bursts of anger and frustration. He eventually finds inspiration in the perspective of a stranger, a swimming coach, who sees what is amazing in his son, instead of what is missing. Over the span of eight years, the film paints a portrait of awakening, hope and redemption.

Danial and his dolphin.
The Philippine gala premiere held at the SM Megamall Cinema 1 was attended by 600 viewers, despite it being a rainy, traffic-ridden Tuesday night. Honored guests included Tunku Mona Riza (Director, Beautiful Pain), Haris Sulong (Producer, Current Pictures), Wilson Tieng (President, Solar Entertainment), Engr. Bien Mateo (Program Head, SM Cares), Paul Daza (Former Governor, Northern Samar), Mirana Medina (Filmmaker and Disability Advocate), Waya Araos-Wijangco (Executive Chef, Gourmet Gypsy), Michelle Aventajado (Country Director, Best Buddies), Chelo Banal-Formoso (Editor, Philippine Daily Inquirer), Harvey Chua (General Manager, Adphoto), Cherry Concepcion (AVP for HR, SM Savemore), Kimberly Cruz (President, Dohtonbori), Archie David (Executive Director, Project TEACH), Gigi Daza (Founder, Nail Tropics), Francis Dimalanta (Developmental Pediatrician), Rachel Harrison (Founder, Zambawood), Anthony Lozada (President, Bert Lozada Swim School), Wennah Marquez (Chief, Mandaluyong PDAD), Mirana Medina (Film maker), Candy Pangilinan (Film/Television Actress), Kaye Samson (Executice Director, Special Olympics), Rene Sarmiento (Former Commissioner, COMELEC), among other dear friends and supporters. The event was made possible through the generosity of our sponsors: Mossimo, DN Steel Group of Companies, JAC Motors, Ramos Co Logistic, Perlita So, Ardex Motors, Reggie Jolingan and Republic Biscuit Corporation.

A partnership between the Autism Society Philippines, Current Pictures Sdn. Bhd., Solar Pictures, SM Cinema, the ASEAN Autism Network and the National Autism Society of Malaysia, “Beautiful Pain” will be shown in SM Megamall, SM Mall of Asia and SM North EDSA on 19 – 25 July 2017 – in commemoration of the Philippine National Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation Week.
Close to 600 viewers came to the "Beautiful Pain" on a rainy Tuesday night.


The Autism Society Philippines envisions an environment that empowers persons with autism spectrum disorder to become the best of their potentials -- self-reliant, independent, productive and socially-accepted members of the community. Towards this end, the ASP commits to the establishment of institutional mechanisms to support persons with autism and their families towards a genuinely autism-inclusive Philippines. Learn more about the autism advocacy at

Current Pictures Sdn. Bhd. is a leading Malaysian production company involved in the creation of television commercials, television programme and tele-movies and feature films. Learn more at

SM Cinema is the largest film exhibitor in the Philippines with 326 screens in 58 branches nationwide, not to mention IMAX Theatres in SM Mall of Asia, Megamall, North Edsa, Southmall, Lanang, Clark, Cebu and Aura Premier! Learn more at

Solar Pictures is the film distribution arm of Solar Entertainment Corporation, a leading broadcast company operating five free-to-air channels and four cable channels. Learn more at

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