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.

13 April 2018

Autism Unfiltered

Let me tell you my unfiltered story.

When I was younger, I remember experiencing emotional and physical pain -- like feeling uncared for, falling to the floor as I was seated in the crib, and being smacked on the hands with a stick. I was four years old when I was initially diagnosed at the Philippine General Hospital as hyperactive. I was seven when I had a series of evaluations and tests at the Philippine Children’s Medical Center. It all ended up with an autism diagnosis.

I disclosed my disability during that time when I was still studying. I graduated in a private Christian school; but I still have "attitudes" here and there, as the years went by. I enrolled and studied in a private college, but I dropped out in January 2011. I pursued finding a job; but I had no callbacks in all jobs that I applied for -- retail, fastfood, radio stations, among others. To be honest, madlang people, I felt bullying, not only in school; but also outside.

But I choose to enjoy life as an independent man. I have traveled all by myself -- enjoying events at BGC, SMX, MOA, World Trade Center, Splash Island -- watched free movies with my mom, visited radio stations to claim prizes, etcetera. But all this is not enough.

During the first week of September, my adoptive sister and BFF, Virginia, referred me to the Autism Society Philippines. It was the first time I heard of them; but soon, knowing about them gave me an overwhelming sense of joy and excitement. I visited their website and Facebook page; and as I scanned their posts, I found that they were having an open house activity for Autism Works program at their National Headquarters. I searched the map and on 16 September 2017, I walked from Timog Avenue all the way to 11th Jamboree; where the people welcomed me. On the same day, I had exams and a hot seat interview with the National President Mona Magno-Veluz. It was all a welcome experience!

I asked God when the perfect time to tell the people about my situation. And on November 26, 2017, during an anniversary of our community, I declared that I was diagnosed with Autism; and earned big respect. Thanks to the people around me, this paved the way to prepare for the "real world" -- work and adult life. Outside of my daily grind, I am an expert when it comes to developing audio-visual contents, and blog posts on my activities and issues/concerns on our country.

I am nearing my 27th year, and what a joyride it has been -- from zero to a modern hero! Falling in with the ranks of those in the autism spectrum has been an emotional journey. I have met others like me -- boys who have different strengths and challenges.

Madlang people, I know that having autism does not mean your life is over. God has plans in store for you.

About the contributor. Rexdel Mallari is an autism self-advocate who is passionate about creating web content. If he isn't working at SM Markets as a Retail Sales Associate, he develops videos about his travels and writes a blog called "Kuya Rexdel Diaries". This article first appeared at

03 April 2018

An Introduction to the Spokle App

“I have no idea what I am supposed to be doing at home.”

“I wish I knew how to handle him when he gets out of control.”

“I avoid public settings as much as possible.”

“My child struggles in school and in making friends.”

“I don’t know where to go for trusted help.”

"I expected some improvement after using Spokle App, but never expected to see progress so quickly! After doing Spokle I am more sensitive to my son’s response.” -- Mei, parent

“Excellent and very useful App, and it can be implemented at school. I have a better understanding of how to manage children with special needs.. The App is great, easy to understand by watching practical instructions as shown on the video.” -- Sophia, School Teacher

Spokle App is a mobile application that is founded on clinical best practices from Australia and New Zealand to help develop spoken language. The Spokle mobile app provides an easy to follow, self-paced program with clear learning goals and targets specific communication skills. The programs are progressive, building on foundation skills to more advanced speech and language abilities.

Learn more about Spokle during an interactive live session with its designers. The first 25 paid attendees will be given FREE ACCESS to the Spokle app. Have an hour and a half tutorial on how to use it and have a live Q&A and “mentoring” session with one its designers, Gia Kuek, Speech Language Therapist and Sensory Integration Therapist.

In 1996, Gia never imagined that having a son go deaf would take her on a path of adventure, from becoming an “accidental speech language therapist”, to now helping families around the world as a Communication and Sensory Integration expert. Ten years later, she and her family moved to New Zealand where she earned a degree in Speech Language Therapy from the University of Canterbury and provided speech therapy and literacy at various schools including the Atlanta Speech School in the USA. Gia is also a certified Sensory Integration therapist.

She works with a variety of ages and disabilities, ranging from hearing impairment, language delay, processing disorders, learning disabilities, cerebral palsy, autism spectrum disorder and brain injuries.

Seminar Details:
Date: 28 April 2018, Saturday
Time: 8:30AM - 12:00PM
Venue: ASP National Headquarters, #9 11th Jamboree Street cor. Sct. Fuentebella, Brgy. Sacred Heart, Quezon City

Seminar Fees:
Pre-Registration (until April 24 or until slots last)
ASP Member- P 300.00
Non-Member- P 500.00

On-site Registration
ASP Member- P 400.00
Non-Member- P 600.00

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 02-903-5496.

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 2018

Family Support Group for the month of April

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: April 21, Saturday
Time: 1:00PM - 4:00PM
Venue: Autism Society Philippines National Headquarters
Address: #9 11th Jamboree Street cor. Sct. Fuentebella, Brgy. Sacred Heart, Quezon City

Sign up for the Family Support Group via the on-line form below or call +632 903.5496. Only 15 seats are available.

29 March 2018

ASP PWAy Day for the Month of April

The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance. --- Aristotle

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 4 - Adults with Autism will have their Photo Collage Art Session - Art therapy promotes mental and emotional growth through art making. art therapy is conducted with the aim of building life skills, addressing deficits and problem behaviors, and promoting healthy self-expression. Photo collage is Cool Art Therapy Intervention. In art lingo, collage simply means "to glue," and is the assembling of different images or materials to create a new whole. Please bring scissors, glue, pictures of you and your family for about 15-20pieces in different sizes (wallet size, 3R, 2x2), 1/8 illustration board, pencil.

On April 11 - we will have Smartphone Digital Photography session - This Wednesday, our PWAy Mates will be learning how to take digital portraits using smartphones from photography experts from Federation of Philippine Photographers Foundation Inc  — who will be setting up our HQ like a pro studio! Participants must bring a smartphone (with a camera and enough memory) and outfits they would like to be photographed in, as they will take turns being models as well. Ready? Smile!”. Prepare a P150 donation when you get on-site.

On April 18 - we will have a Pangkabuhayang Recipe - adult with autism will prepare Special Polvoron - a popular holiday delicacies, a dessert or snack in the Philippines. Cooking can be an opportunity to increase independence, learn basic academic skills to use in a functional way. PWAs who have sensory processing challenges can benefit greatly from the smells, textures and tastes involved with the cooking process. 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.

On April 25 - Adults with Autism will have Sensory Friendly Movie. To provide a more accepting and comfortable setting for our special audience, ASP will allow bringing up the lights, turning down sound volume, allowing families/PWAs to bring in their own snacks and welcoming audience members to get up, dance, walk, shout, sing, go in and out of the room.

"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."

27 March 2018

The Philippines celebrates World Autism Acceptance Month 2018

The United Nations World Autism Awareness Day (WAAD) aims to focus on the challenges that people with autism – and their families – face every day. This year, the commemoration will focus on the importance of empowering women and girls with autism and involving them and their representative organizations in policy and decision making to address these challenges.

The Autism Society Philippines is one with this global commemoration, as well as the call for the World Autism Acceptance Month, which inspires action beyond awareness.  ASP is at the forefront of events and programs in the Philippines, all through out the month of April, for the benefit of our community of persons with autism, family member and other stakeholders.

ASP Family Prayer Jamboree (by Registration)
April 2, Mon, 1800H-2000H, Quezon Memorial Circle
More info:
Organizers: Autism Society Philippines, LGU of Quezon City, NCDA
National Autism Care Plan Public Consultation (by Registration)
April 3, Tue, 0900H-1200H, PUP College of Law
More info:
Organizers: Autism Society Philippines, AKBAYAN, and the PUP College of Law
Autism Sensitivity Training for Coast Guard (by Invitation)
April 3, Tue, 1000-1200H, HPCG Function Hall
Organizers: Philippine Coast Guard, NCDA, Autism Society Philippines
Caloocan's World Autism Awareness Day (Public)
April 3, Tue, 1300H-2030H, Caloocan Baranggay 177 Hall
Organizer: ASP Caloocan Chapter
Paranaque Pizza Party (By Registration)
April 5, Thu, 1500H-1700H, Shakey's Paranaque
Organizer: ASP Paranaque
---------------------------------------------------------ASP Autism Works MOU Signing with Wee Community Developers (by Invitation)
April 6, Fri, 0800H-1200H, San Juan City
Organizers: Autism Society Philippines, WeeComm
ASP Autism Works MOU Signing with SM Markets (by Invitation)
April 10, Tue, 1000H-1200H, SM Corporate Offices, Building E
Organizers: Autism Society Philippines, SM Markets

ASP Autism Works Pilot in Quezon Province (by Invitation)
April 2, Mon, 0800H-1200H, SM Savemore Agora Lucena
Organizers: Autism Society Philippines, SM Savemore, ASP Lucena
1Pangako at Davao City Hall (Public)
April 2, Mon, 0800H, Davao City Hall
Organizer: Local Government of Davao City, ASP Davao Chapter
Davao City Lights It Up Blue (Public)
April 2, Mon, 1800H, Davao City Hall
More info:
Organizer: ASP Davao Chapter
Bacolod's World Autism Awareness Day (by Invitation)
April 3, Tue, 1000H - 1200H, SM City Bacolod
Organizers: Happy Beginners School of Learning, SM City Bacolod, ASP Bacolod
AutisAbilities Festival (Public)
April 8, Sun, 0900H-2100H, Ayala Malls Solenad, Sta, Rosa
More info:
Organizer: ASP Sta. Rosa Chapter
Iloilo's World Autism Awareness Day (Public)
April 19, 0800H-1300H, Punta Villa, Iloilo
Organizer: Department of Health, ASP Iloilo
Tacloban Autism Health Forum (Public)
April 19-20, Tacloban
Organizer: Department of Health, ASP Tacloban
Auti-Sympo (by Registration)
April 28, Sat, TBD
Organizer: ASP Rizal Chapters

Big Dome Lights Blue (Public)
April 2, Mon, 1800H, Smart Araneta Coliseum
Organizers: NCDA, Araneta Center, Autism Partnership, PACLDD
MOA Globe LIUB (Public)
April 2, Mon, 1800H, MOA Globe
Organizers: NCDA, SM Cares, Autism Partnership
DLSU College of Saint Benilde (By Registration)
April 2, Monday 1730H, CSB SDA Building,
Organizers: DLSU CSB Center for Inclusive Education, Best Buddies Benilde

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