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.

14 January 2010

Autism in their Hearts and MINDs

Brilliant minds converged as the Philippine team presented our country’s history and state of neurodevelopmental disabilities on two-day packed visit to the UC Davis M.I.N.D. Institute, Sacramento.


“It was a gift to visit a Center of Excellence on Autism". Dr. Alexis Reyes, President of the Philippine Society for Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, who also heads the Philippine Team.


Autism Hearts Foundation, founded by Lynda Boromeo, a grandmother of a child with autism, invited a team of doctors to San Francisco on December 2, 2009.


Traveling together with her are Drs. Stella Manalo, Tippy Tanchanco, Rita Villadolid and Eva Cutiongco-Dela Paz, with the main objective of bringing together the group with the pool of speakers and resource persons from the MIND to the upcoming International Autism Conference to be held in Manila on February 3-5, 2010.


MIND or Medical Investigation of Neurodevelopmental Disorders Institute research and treatment center is affiliated with the University of California, Davis, with facilities located on the UC Davis Medical Center campus. The institute is a consortium of scientists, educators, physicians and parents who have joined together to unravel the mysteries of autism spectrum disorders, fragile X syndrome, and other neurodevelopmental disorders.


Dr. David Amaral, MIND Institute’s Director for Research, together with great scientific minds offered new and exciting research on autism:


o Signs of autism may not be present at birth and those who will be diagnosed with autism will show diminishing social engagement, eye contact and social interest between the 6th to 18th month period. (Ozonoff)


o Infants at high risk should be offered intervention even if they are not diagnosed and screening for autism needs to be done multiple times in the first several years of life. (Ozonoff)


o Cost effective screening test for Fragile X (30% of Fragile X individuals have autism and that 2-6% of all those with autism have Fragile X) and a possible cure for this previously incurable condition. (Hagerman)


o There is no significant difference in the outcomes of children receiving therapies from center-based therapist vs. those receiving intervention from parents coached by the on-line modules.(Rogers)


Good news for Filipinos with Autism


Autism is on the rise, recently research suggests, 1 in 110 children is being diagnosed with autism. In the Philippines, PWAs and their families still experience social stigma plus added burden on lack of professionals, programs and services especially in the provinces.


On-line training for parents to provide behavioral coaching and intervention for their children with autism is good news for developing countries like the Philippines where therapy centers are confined in large urban areas and are very expensive.


“This visit reminded us that research should be prioritized and we will continue to provide service and intervention,” said the Philippine Team.


Click here to keep reading on the latest scientific developments and breakthroughs in the field of autism.


For the past 20 years ASP has been working to provide a better future for persons with autism and their families. We have 42 chapters around the country that families can contact. ASP will organize more chapters to reach out to more families especially in the far flung areas.


Sign up now for the International Autism Conference: The Science of Autism: New Directions and Priorities at the Philippine International Convention Center from February 3 to 5, 2010. Register now and be part of this landmark conference. Click here for more details.


The IAC is a joint partnership of Autism Hearts Foundation, Mind Institute, Autism Speaks, Philippine Society for Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics (PSDBP), and Autism Society Philippines (ASP).

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