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.

18 February 2010

Life Begins at Forty

By: Ranil Sorongon, ASP Executive Director

“My sister will be celebrating her birthday tomorrow and in lieu of gifts, she has requested her friends and relatives for donations which she will give to her chosen charity. I have a son with special needs, so my sister knows the huge expenses that parents have to shell out just to address the needs of their child,” came an email message during the heart of ASP’s Autism Consciousness Week Celebrations.

I suddenly remembered the parents from the lowest social strata of Quezon City. They really strive hard to bring their children with autism to school. Initiated by Special Educators, Teachers Evelyn and Lorna; ASP Commonwealth Chapter was born. The youngest chapter is based in Commonwealth Elementary School (CES), a public school offering SPED programs.

ASP Commonwealth Chapter President, Mrs. Lilia Taroy, is a single parent with two children with special needs. With the hope of seeing CWAs as productive and socially accepted members of society; the educators also help the parent members by providing guidance to the officers.

Last February 8, together with her sister, Tonggay de Leon-Diokno and her friend, Mayette Garcia-Horrigan, Autism Angel, Ms. Machez de Leon-Aguas, visited CES-SPED. A short program of songs and dances from the children welcomed the guests. Teacher Evelyn gave a brief history of the CES-SPED program while Mrs. Taroy welcomed the visitors in behalf of the parents.

Machez just turned 40 last January 13 and in recognition of the many blessings she has received for the past 39 years of her life, she decided to celebrate her 40th birthday by asking her friends and relatives to give her donations in lieu of gifts for her special day. Ms. Machez is dubbed as the “Autism Angel” due to her philanthropic services planned for CES-SPED.

The fund will be used to provide services to children with disabilities and their families at Commonwealth Elementary School. A brief consultation of the needs of the children and the parents followed after the programs for the benefactors. The meeting provided information to set priorities in the establishment of more lasting programs and services, in partnership with the parents and the school.

What a meaningful way to celebrate your birthday. Share the blessings you received to children with autism and their families. Write to find out how.


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