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.

06 August 2010

ASP Natl’s Train & Coach PWA Seminars Vital Tool for Professionals

By: Cristine Republica

ASP National’s July 31 Back to Back seminar entitled “Vocational Training for Persons with Autism” and “ABC’s of Job Coaching” was attended by a total of 154 participants with representatives from ASP UP-Camp Manila Chapter, ASP Laguna Chapter, ASP Batangas Chapter, ASP Lucena Chapter and ASP Olongapo City Chapter.

Teacher Landa as she facilitated the Back to Back Seminar

They were joined by parents, college students and school representatives, professionals and ASP members, who converged at the venue, Asian Social Institute, Manila. The seminars were facilitated by resource speaker, Ms. Maria Yolanda Michelle A. Bautista, also known as Teacher Landa, Directress of The Learning Center.
Participants coming from different walks of life

Vocational Training for Persons with Autism

As employment becomes one of the goals for a large number of persons with autism (PWA) and persons with special needs (PSN), vocational education can prepare them for future jobs.Trainees are given manual or practical activities that are traditionally non-academic and related to a specific trade or occupation.

Teacher Landa emphasized on the use of the acclaimed, time tested technique of TEACCH approach for Vocational Training. She also presented alternative livelihood programs for special needs adults as well as the role of professionals in the implementation of the program. Budget should be taken into consideration for all of those programs.

ABC’s of Job Coaching

The basic role of Job Coaching for PWA and PSN in the Philippine setting was discussed in the afternoon. According to the resource speaker, a job coach serves as a para-professional and or professional staff responsible for teaching job skills and associated behaviors, to students and adults with disabilities. She reminded the would-be-job-coaches to remember the ABC’s A = Awareness, B= Bridge the Gap and C = Customize & Strategize.

For On-the-Job (OJT) Training Program, trainees with moderate to high functioning levels (16 years old and above) can be introduced to varied productive and meaningful work environments to broaden their vocational skills. For Apprenticeship Program, extensive hands-on training (office or clerical work) and school or community based OJT sites (companies in different industries) is encouraged. In the execution, explore all possible networks like family, school, para-professionals and community.

Open Forum and Testimonies

The open forum and testimonials were interesting and stimulating as attendees remained interactive. ASP Olangapo Chapter’s Amy Sanchez, Professor at Columban College, Olongapo City, shared her expertise and experiences as a Job Coach to Gabriel and Miguel, twins with autism. The boys are children of Dr. David Calapatia, former ASP Trustee and Eng. Marissa Calapatia.

To empower PWAs, we first have to empower ourselves, the family members, the professionals, like special education teachers. Families dream for PWAs to become independent and productive in our community. Teachers and Job Coaches play a big role also in helping and guiding them to be better citizens and employees in our society.

ASP continues to work hard to keep members informed and knowledgeable. Sign up now for the next seminar on August 28,Saturday, 9AM, "Speech, Language and Communications" by Teacher Mae Sadicon. Email us at or call 7-903-5496. Log on to ASP Community Website.


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