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 2019

ASP colors our world Autism-OK!

The Autism Society Philippines commemorated World Autism Awareness Day through a collaborative art event aptly called the ASP Color It Autism-OK! at the Mall of Asia Arena Music Hall on 2 April, Tuesday. The event aimed to engage the Philippine autism community in an inclusive activity, where everyone, regardless of age and capabilities can participate.

We are making every day World Autism Awareness Day!
The event began promptly at 3pm, with the opening prayer from Apolinario Mabini Awardeed and PWA Tomas Perez-Diaz. The ribbon cutting ceremony kicked off the event with ASEAN Autism Network Honorary Chairperson Dang Koe, ASP National President Mona Magno-Veluz, ASP SACi Vice President for External Carl Veluz, SM Supermalls Assistant Vice President for Marketing (CSR) Chito Bauzon, and SM Mall of Asia Mall Manager Amy Gonzales. The creative minds behind the upcoming Cinemalaya entry "Iska" about an impoverished grandmother taking care of a grandson with profound disability from autism -- film director Theodore Boborol, award-winning indie actress Ruby Ruiz and upcoming actor Pryle Gura -- also held sheers to our opening ribbon.

Cutting the ribbon
The event featured the 860 square feet of coloring surface, reproduced from Summit Books' "Hue Can Do It Manila". The pages were illustrated in pen and ink by publications professional and designer Ms. Asa Montenejo. Big thanks go out to Summit Books Editor-in-Chief Lio Mangubat and Smart Parenting Editor-in-Chief Leah Nemil-San Jose for helping put everything together!

"Hue Can Do It Manila!" in 860 square feet.
ASP Angel Corps Volunteers manned our registration tables and volunteer PWAs donned angel wings to distribute and collect crayons from silver buckets.

PWA Van was among our Crayon Angels.
About 580 participants registered from ASP chapters from all over Metro Manila, Cavite, Rizal and Laguna. ASP Pasay Chapter brought home first prize for biggest contingent -- 32 Kidzania tickets worth P26,000 from our friends from Cebu Pacific; while ASP UP CAMP won P10,000 gift certificates from the SM Store.

ASP Pasay was our big winner!
Ms. Carmen Zubiaga, Acting Executive Director of the National Council on Disability Affairs closed the event with a call to action to make every day "autism awareness" day; and the invitation for the vibrant Autism Society Philippines community to be more active in the cross-disability initiatives.

Ms. Carmen Zubiaga and the ASP National Trustees (L-R) Marivic Ramos, Helen Cheng, Donna  Lim, Peng So, Dang Koe, Mona Veluz, Imee Alviso and Joy Ofrecia
This national autism advocacy event could not have been possible without the hard work of the ASP Color It Autism-OK! Project Team Ms. Mona Magno-Veluz, Ms. Peng So, Ms. Helen Cheng, Ms. Donna Lim and Ms. Imee Alviso. This was organized by the Autism Society Philippines with SM Cares, SM Mall of Asia, National Council on Disability Affairs, Summit Books, Cebu Pacific; and supported by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, Japan-ASEAN Cooperation, Asia-Pacific Development Center on Disability, ASEAN Autism Network and the ASEAN Autism Mapping Project.

"The Autism Society Philippines makes every day World Autism Awareness Day!" -- seeing this flashed on the iconic SM MOA Globamaze was an awesome way to end the day, considering how the ASP Color It Autism-OK! Collaborative Art Event at the SM MOA Music Hall was a resounding success! #AutismOKPH #TRENTAgether

05 April 2019

ASP's Project Gourm-A delivers an Autism-OK Dining Experience

Young adults on the autism spectrum of the Autism Society Philippines community congregated at the Vatel Restaurant Manila on the roof deck of the Hotel Benilde in Manila City to deliver an inclusive dining experience to advocates and supporters.

Hours before doors opened, PWAs were welcomed by the De la Salle-College of Saint Benilde family. Student organizations Chefs in Progress and World Hoteliers in Progress of the DLC-CSB School of Hotel, Restaurant and Institution Management and young adults with autism were assigned as kitchen staff, waiters and hosts, alongside neurotypical students to provide a unique dining experience. Students and PWAs were paired into work partners; and had a short team building exercise, before the dinner service began.

Youth of ASP and DLS-CSB SHRIM
ASP's Autism Works x Project Gourm-A [gur-'may] event aspires to discover and show off skills of individuals on the spectrum in the restaurant industry. The encounter inspired acceptance, accommodation and appreciation of persons with autism through delivery of an autism-inclusive dining experience, development of employability skills of persons with autism in the food industry, development of autism-inclusive workplaces, and exposure of professionals in the food and hospitality industries to neurodiverse individuals.

Vatel Restaurant Manila Executive Chef Pierre Cornelis welcomed PWA Conan Dizon as one of his kitchen assistants, who helped in prepping and plating the sumptuous four-course dinner of curried cauliflower with roast cashew soup, asparagus pomelo salad with andalusia dressing, beef bourguignon and salmon fillet with tian vegetables and jasmine pilaf rice and a choice of cerveza negra and chocolate ice cream and mango crème brulee.

Dean Angelo, Chef Pierre, PWA Conan and Team Vatel
PWA Danica Escasinas, ASP Autism Angels Achievement Awardee for Performing Arts in 2017, elevated the evening's atmosphere with her smooth renditions of pop ballads.

PWA Danica belting our a smooth tune.
Mr. Arthur Alina, Director for Hatcheries, trained and commanded the service crew, who delivered customer-endearing service throughout the evening. PWAs Katherine Nagtano and Carl Veluz welcomed the guests at the door and ushered them to their tables.

PWAs Katherine, Carl and CHIP's Janine
PWAs Jason Cando, Dreau Narciso, John Silva, Julius Sison and Brainard Tabije served their customers heart-warming French Mediterranean dishes. Aside from enjoying the experience, they all learned first hand how hard hotel and restaurant professionals have to work to deliver a fine meal.

After being on their feet for the whole evening,
the ASP service team felt a profound respect for restaurant professionals.
Dean Angelo Lacson of De la Salle-College of Saint Benilde SHRIM is among the project's enthusiastic supporters; and was seen checking in on the DLS-CSB students and their neurodiverse partners all through out the night. "Embracing inclusion as School of Hotel, Restaurant and Institution Management is not about just following the mandate of the College but rather our championing of equal opportunity and equal representation. This dinner involving young adults on the autism spectrum is our school’s initial step in providing them with hospitality and culinary enrichment options.” CHIP Adviser Chef Tiffany Santuyo, Chef Jester Arellano and WHIP Adviser Mr. Jerwin Pineda were also present to guide and inspire!
The Autism Society Philippines is thankful for the amazing support from the
DLS-CSB School of Hotel, Restaurant and Institution Management.
Our happy diners included Bro. Dennis Magbanua FSC (outgoing President of College of Saint Benilde), Ms. Michelle Ressa Aventajado (Country Manager, Best Buddies Philippines) Ms. Suzanna Pavadee Vicheinrut Yuzon (Founder, Miss Possibilities), among other supporters who enjoyed a chill, laid-back dining experience.

ASP's Mona Veluz with Bro. Dennis Magbanua FSC,
Bro. Manny Sia FSC and friends
ASP's Imelda and Andrea Alviso, Miss Possibilities' Susanna Yuson
and Jacqueline Alba, and Best Buddies' Michelle, Nino and Gia Aventajado
"Benilde has always believed in the importance of inclusion. In providing our students with opportunities for learning, along with the necessary support and accommodations, we open doors for them to become contributing members of society" declared Ms. Nicky Templo-Perez, Director for the De la Salle-College of Saint Benilde Center for Inclusive Education. "We are so excited to be supporting ASP’s Project Gourm-A and have our students from the SHRIM organizations work with persons with autism! I’m sure it will be a powerful experience for everyone."

The advocates of ASP and DLS-CSB SHRIM
smile after a long night. Tired but happy!

The ASP Project Gourm-A Project Team Ms. Mona Magno-Veluz, Ms. Peng So, Ms. Helen Cheng and Ms. Evelyn Go, were engaged and involved months ahead, ensuring an successful event and meaningful partnership.

"The Project GourmA event tonight delivered on its promise of an intimate, sumptuous dinner," shared ASP National President Mona Magno-Veluz. "Aside from allowing the general public to experience how many young adults on the autism spectrum are ready for employment in the food and restaurant industry, our hearts are full because we saw how our diners, our PWAs and our partners had fun. Inclusion should always be this effortless."

Relive the experience through these photos.

The Autism Society Philippines, through its Autism-OK Philippines campaign, aims to build an autism-inclusive society by working proactively with the public and private sectors to create institutional mechanisms that inspire responsive policies and programs, autism-inclusive education, autism-friendly public spaces, compassionate workplaces, more transitions specialists, more professionals on the spectrum and livelihood opportunities for PWAs and their families. #AutismOKPH #TRENTAgether

03 April 2019

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 Cecile Sicam. 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, Education Committee Head and Project Manager of the Homepowerment Project. 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 served as Directress of Bridges Foundation, Inc. Her adult son, Likas, has been employed for more than a decade.

Date: 13 April 2019, 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.

01 April 2019

TEACCH-ing Made Easy

Creating an environment conducive for learning and developing independence need not be difficult. Learn how to apply principles of STRUCTURED TEACHING at home and in the classroom with practical examples and hands on experience in planning and making structured materials. The talk aims to explain the philosophy and significance of structured teaching, provide the different approaches in setting up the home and the classroom to guide the neuro-diverse learners where to be, what, when, and how to do tasks as independently as possible. Participants will be able to take their materials to use at home or in their classroom.

About the Speakers:

Maria Cecilia V. Zamora or Teacher Ichie received her Bachelor in Secondary Education and Masters in Health Education at the University of the Philippines, Diliman. She received her second Master's Degree in Special Education at the Philippine Normal University. Her teaching experience spans 20 years, covering preschool to college levels. From 2011 to 2015, she devoted her time at Bridges Foundation, a school for children with developmental disabilities as a SPED teacher, handling a vocational class comprised of 14 to 21 year old students with various special needs. Presently, she is connected with UP College of Education and serves as the Executive Secretary and DEC member of the ASEAN Center for Preventive Drug Education.

Mary Rose Genova is a licensed Professional Teacher. She is a trained special education teacher, teacher-researcher, school kindergarten coordinator, school research committee (SRC) member and Division of Quezon City session guide writer. As a Special Education professional, Ms. Mary Rose handles self-contained programs for students with various learning needs. She prepares learning experiences suited to the needs of her students, including organization and structuring of the learning environment. As a public school Special Education teacher, she is able to accomplish these despite very limited resources.

Seminar Details:

Date: 27 April 2019, Saturday
Time: 9:30am - 4:00pm
Venue: ASP National Headquarters, #9 11th Jamboree Street cor. Sct. Fuentebella, Brgy. Sacred Heart, Quezon City

Seminar Rates:

The Seminar is exclusive to members of the Autism Society Philippines
P 800 - Seminar only (For existing ASP Members)
P 1,200 - Seminar + ASP membership

Seminar fees may be deposited 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 02-9035496.

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.

13 March 2019

ASP honors achievers on the spectrum anew

The ASP Autism Angel Achievement Awards, nicknamed A5, is an annual recognition of the impact of persons with autism in the community and of their skills and talent that makes them stand out beyond their exceptionality. This year's honors were conferred in behalf of the Autism Society Philippines by ASP Trustee Grace Adviento and National Council on Disability Affairs Acting Executive Director Carmen Zubiaga.

(L-R) Henry Munarriz, Carl Veluz, Pia Cabanero
with ASP's Grace Adviento
Three new achievers were honored with the A5 at the Angels Walk for Autism 2019 pre-walk program.

Samantha Pia Cabanero, A5 2019 for Advocacy. Pia is an energetic young high school senior with big dreams. Writing, appearing in vlogs are only some of her many creative pursuits. She stood out among other aspirants to be crowned Miss Possibilities in 2018. Pia serves as the Vice President for Communications for the ASP Self-Advocates Circle.

Carlo Gregorio Veluz, A5 2019 for Visual Arts. Carl loves to work with his hands, has sold upcycled items he made himself under his web enterprise called Gregarious Gifts and has recently taken up carpentry. In 2018, he bested other Filipino artists with disabilities to become the winner of the Philippine leg of the Paralym Art World Cup — with his work displayed in exhibits in Japan. Carl serves as the Vice President for External for the ASP Self Advocates Circle.

Eduardo Enrique Munarriz, A5 2019 for Athletics. Henry won the top award in the heavyweight class in the Special Category at the 2019 Philippine National Open Powerlifting Championships and was awarded a trophy for Best Lifter in the Special Category. He is part of a 65-man delegation representing Team Pilipinas in the 2019 Special Olympics World Games in Abu Dhabi.
Pia, Carl and Henry join an elite group of individuals on the autism spectrum who have excelled in their own fields.

Charlene Danica Escasinas, A5 2018 for Performing Arts 2018. Danica first joined and won a singing contest at the age 7; and started modelling at the age of 12. Danica were given the opportunity to represent the Philippines to the 1st ASEAN Autism Youth Camp in April 2013 at Brunei Darussalam and in Autism Talent Gala 2017 in Hong Kong.

Vell Baria, A5 2017 for Performing Arts.  Vell has been performing at autism advocacy events for years; and performs regularly at amateur and professional productions. Vell earned a degree in Music Performance, with a major in Voice, and a minor in Piano, at St. Scholastica's College Manila. She won the INAP Award for Performing Arts at the ANCA World Autism Festival in Vancouver, Canada.

Vico Cham, A5 2016 for Visual Arts. Considered a product of ASP showcases of PWA talents in his younger years -- joining on-the-spot painting contests, drawing for the centerfold of a national conference's  souvenir programme, and being featured during an ASP art exhibit -- Vico received in 2015 a special award from the Apolinario Mabini Award for PWDs. He works as PWA employee #1 of Unilab Foundation.

Raymond Macasaet, A5 for Athletics. Raymond is a Special Olympics veteran, having earned medals in Aquatics in competitions in Greece 2011 and Singapore 2013. During the 2015 Special Olympics in Los Angeles, he won gold in the 50 meter and 25 meter dash in the track and field category.

Thara Marie Santiago, A5 for Performing Arts. From 79 candidates, Thara Marie became one of the 19 finalists who received "Excellent Performance Award" during the Autistic Talent Gala held last December 2015 in Hongkong, which was organized by the AnAn International Education Foundation. Her rendition of "All by Myself" earned her one of the 4 major awards in the individual category - "Most Touching Voice."

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