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.

08 October 2010

Bataan “Rocks” for Autism

Soon-to-be ASP Bataan Chapter conducted an Autism Awareness Program at Balanga Elementary School. Special guests included Sparkle Band and ASP Dream Girls and Guest Speaker Mr. Rommel E. Arellano, Guidance Counselor in Limay Polytechnic College, Bataan. The activity was conducted last July 31, 2010 as part of the celebration of the National Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation (NDPR) Week.


The SPED Awareness Program aimed to open the minds and hearts of the people in the province to children with different disabilities. “Bataan is not ready to embrace children with autism. Many people laugh at their condition, tease or even hit them.” Program organizer, Teacher Randy Tallorin, who is also a Special Education Teacher and Occupational Therapist, has been conducting the program for the past 2 years.


He said he wanted his ka-Bataenos to be more understanding of children with different disabilities, particularly autism. “I see a lot people here ignoring these children. I would like the public to be informed about these children and to have more understanding and compassion for children with autism and related disabilities, to inspire parents and caregivers to empower themselves”.


Another problem that frustrates him is the lack of knowledge on how to handle children with autism. “Teachers here are not knowledgeable about how to manage their behaviors – when they have tantrums, or how to help them improve their gross motor/fine motor skills. Classes are still held isolated. Children with special needs have separated programs form their “regular” schoolmates. They have separate Lingo ng Wika program, Nutrition program, etc. There is still a “wall” that separates ‘special’ from ‘regular’” .


One day a parent of a 16 year old boy came to consult with Teacher Randy. Their son still attended classes in Grade One. “Can you believe that?! He was still being taught ABCs and 123s. But that’s ok. My advice was to teach the teen what is appropriate for his age, something functional, like pre-vocational programs. We talked to the teacher, conducted a seminar and gave training on how to teach teens with autism.”


Inspiration from Artists with Autism

Doors were closed to the idea of helping children with autism as Teacher Randy approached groups for help. “I received nothing. I gained nothing. I was ignored. But I did not lose hope. My eagerness to inform my region is still here in my heart.”


“I continue my advocacy. And being knew I was not alone in this battle. Being an ASP member gave me strength and inspiration to an ASP member also gave me the idea of continuing to conduct awareness programs.” Through ASP, Teacher Randy contacted friends from Sparkle Band and ASP Dream Girls to join local talented special children, like and AD/HD and John Kyle, who has autism deaf students from Balanga Elementary School, for the NDPR Week Celebrations.



ASP Dream Girls: (from left) Thara, Vell and Nica



Bryan Lu (Vocalist/Drummer)



Teacher Randy with the Sparkle Band




Teacher Randy saw to it that many parents, teachers, government and NGO representatives and children with disabilities came to the event. People were surprised to find out that the performers had autism and the audience realized that, even if certain performers still deal with stereotypical behaviors like lack of eye contact, or hand flapping, they are capable of learning and being independent. They had proven that, with proper intervention and support, children with autism can also thrive and develop their God-given talents.



“The activity united concerned individuals, groups and institutions to work together to promote the cause of autism; and to link with other local resources, agencies and support groups. After the event, a local TV crew came to interview me. And to my surprise, government agencies have signified their willingness to help children with special needs in my hometown.



There was a good reason for Teacher Randy to dance during the 3rd Chapter Leaders Conference. He joined other leaders as ASP Dream Girls gave their powerful performances. Click here to read more. Soon, other people in Bataan will “rock” for autism.



Acknowledgements: Bataan Association of Rotary Clubs, UP SPED Council, Mrs. Merlinda T. Taban, Principal and students of Balanga Elementary School, CLTV 36 and Bataan Today for covering the event. Interviewed with Thine Republica.



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ASP continues to build new chapters. Currently, there are 46 Chapters around the country. This year, ASP targets the big 50, before the end of the year. Keep posted for more news. We Share our Hopes with you. It’s Time to Build our Dreams. Donate generously to Autism Society and help expand programs and services. Donate to ASP’s Banco De Oro Savings Account No. 3980002955 Ask for your Official Receipt. Donors will be acknowledged. Call us at 9266941 / 9298447 or email us at autismphils@gmail.com.

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