The Autism Society Philippines (ASP) is a national, non-profit organization dedicated to the well-being of persons on the autism spectrum disorder. We envision a society where Filipinos on the spectrum become the best of their potentials -- self-reliant, independent, productive, socially-accepted citizens of an Autism-OK Philippines.

20 October 2009

Autism Hiro

By: Tiffany Tan

Heroes are born not made. So the saying goes. One of the most popular TV series Heroes stars Hiro Nakamura- the time and space bending Japanese desk clerk, whose quest is to find the Sword of Takezo Kensei and whose destiny in life is to save the world.

In the autism world, we also found our Hiro. He is also Japanese and is coincidentally member and head instructor of the Boston Shufukai Kendo (Kendo is the Japanese art of swordsmanship). Currently, he holds the position of Director of Training Institute of the Boston Higashi School.

Mr. Toshihiro Ogimura or fondly called by his students and friends as Ogi has worked directly with students with autism since 1993. He is currently the residential director of the Boston Higashi High School, an international program that serves children and young adults with autism.

Students who practice with Ogimura Sensei

Let’s imagine Ogi in his Kendo outfit. We asked how the discipline taught in Kendo helped him in his line of work in Boston Higashi School.

“Practicing Kendo always helps me to refresh my mind and to not get stacked with work. From Kendo, I learn to respect and appreciate.

Respect for myself, teachers, peers, opponents, equipments and places we practice. Appreciate that we have place to practice, we have people to practice with, teacher to guide me etc. I apply the same principle in my daily life, everything I face gives me the opportunity to improve myself and I appreciate those opportunities. Everything around me helps me to improve myself, so I respect them.

And the most important thing I learned from Kendo is patience, while working with students with autism. I teach them, not just by reading a manual. I teach by working with the children. All my students are different. All the situations I encounter are different. That is something I learned from Kendo - the art of patience.

The Higashi School motto is “Challenge. Believe. Together.” We are challenging ourselves, and students while believing in students and ourselves. Therefore, we work together and improve together, to achieve our goals.”

And speaking like the true autism hero, Ogi continues:

“Please come to the conference. I will talk on our ways of thinking. I will explain the reason behind our philosophy and give you strategies. You will then understand not only WHAT WE DO and HOW WE DO IT, but also WHY WE DO IT. See how we challenge, believe and do together! Come to the Autism Beyond Borders Conference!

Click here to read the full article on Daily Life Therapy the Higashi Way for Students with autism.

Ogi is one of our main conference speakers on Enhancing the Quality Life through a Residential Program and Daily Life Therapy, during the Autism Beyond Borders Conference, ASP’s 11th National Conference and 1st Southeast Asian Conference on Autism, which will commence on October 24-25, 2009 at SMX Convention Center, Mall of Asia Complex, Pasay City.

A post-conference workshop on Teaching Strategies and Behavior Management of Daily Life Therapy also by Ogi follows on October 27 at Sky Dome, SM North EDSA, Quezon City.


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