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.

23 June 2010

Education Frustration

By: Tiffany Tan, ASP Board Secretary


“Do not allow yourself or others to be defined by your limitations but rather by your abilities. Never underestimate yourself,” said Eric Douglas Duquette as he stands before other graduates.

Eric was diagnosed with autism and his parents were told he had to be institutionalized. Defying the odds, he graduates Salutatorian and said the experts were right about the “institution” thing, which Eric meant as “institution for higher learning”.

Autism doom sayers can learn a thing or two from Eric’s experience. He attributes his success to supportive classmates and teachers who made him feel wanted as he goes to school each day - a striking contrast to some schools that still refuse to accept children with autism in their classes.

Answer for Frustrated Mom
On June 5 we received a post from a frustrated mom “I got a problem in one of the schools here. The school would not allow my child to be enrolled in the class fearing other parents would disapprove upon learning that my child has special needs.”

The frustrated mom might want to know about Magna Carta for Persons with Disabilities or RA 7277, which contains an extensive Section on Education for PWDs. Click here for more details.

According to the DepEd website, the inclusive education concept or the different types of SPED programs suited to the needs of the learners should be adopted. (Reference: DepEd Order 1997-26 or the “Institutionalization of SPED programs in all schools”).

Stakeholders may also want to know that there are existing guidelines on set by the department on Strengthening the Special Education Program at the elementary level.

Specified are provisions for development activities for children with special needs like training/workshops, camping, athletics, educational tours, plus upgrading of teachers and administrators in Special and Inclusive Education. For NCR, there are 10 divisions with 30 centers receiving the budget of more than 16 million pesos.

For the Basic Education Level the public schools implementing the SPED programs, the total allocation is more than 64 million pesos, allotted to 22 schools. The provisions include student development, leadership training and educational visits.

Ray of Hope
“We believe that our child has her own ability to adapt as normal kids do. How about my child? Where will she belong? Do we sit down here and do nothing?”

Let’s go back to Eric and remind ourselves and our children, that autism is not a hindrance to learning. Children with autism deserve every right to education, as do their neuro-typical counterparts; and being autistic doesn’t mean they are incapable of being schooled in the mainstream.

Click here to watch his inspirational speech. Hope this helps. Please share this article to those who might benefit.

(Sources: DepEd , ABC News, You Tube)

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ASP believes that children with autism will thrive, given the right support and a nurturing environment of encouragement and acceptance. We also believe that parents and caregivers should be informed about the existing provisions accorded to their children. Be an Angel for Autism. Be equipped about PWD rights. Visit our ASP Community Website or email us at autismphil@pldtdsl.net. You can also get in touch with us at tel no 926 6941 and/or 929 8447.

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