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.

11 November 2010

First Pinoy PWA in ASEAN Children’s Forum

Ian Lopez, 18, the first Filipino with Autism, attended the First ASEAN Children’s Forum with his mentor, Ms. Cathy Lopez, Vice President of ASP Laguna Chapter. The conference was held on October 19 to 23, 2010 in Fontana Leisure Parks in Clark Freeport, Pampanga, with youth participants representing the 11 countries of ASEAN. Ian filed this report.


The first ASEAN Children’s Forum is very helpful when it comes to improving the lives of many children in South East Asia. It would be easy for people from one ASEAN member-state to interact with another in terms of opportunities.

I represented over a million Filipinos who have potentials, but limited by various stumbling blocks, including their disabilities. It is my hope that my participation in the First ASEAN Children’s Forum will enable me to be an inspiration to children with disabilities. I believe children are the hope of every nation.
Ian make a stand for Children with Disabilities

During the 4-day conference, significant decisions were made during the Terms of Reference Forum.

(1) To have an ASEAN Children’s Forum annually

a) this will be supported by the ASEAN Secretariat- coordinating with information dissemination and activities

b) ACF will have children delegates between 12 to 18 years old

c) ACF will have special consideration for Children with Disabilities

(2) To advocate for children’s rights in the region

(3) To utilize the new ASEAN Children Forum’s Website to:

a) Serve as a tool for communication, advocacy, awareness and information

b) Have a format that ensures the safety, security and privacy of children

c) Make decisions through consensus and suggestions.

(4) To make action proposals on the children’s participation in the environment, HIV-AIDS, poverty, child labor and internet.

(5) To select representatives to the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Social Welfare and Development (AMMSWD) Leaders in November 2010. This will be decided by the organizing committee, pending the availability of the participants, plus other considerations.
Ian during his reporting

I have made a personal commitment to help the children of ASEAN and decided to be of service to them through volunteer work and by providing assistance, like tutorials. If you need my help, I am more than willing to help you.

I would like to express my appreciation for my family and friends; Autism Society Philippines, Executive Director Ranil Sorongon; ASP Laguna Chapter President, Riza Cansanay; City Government of San Pablo, through Mayor Vic Amante, the San Pablo City Social Welfare and Development Office headed by Ms. Grace Adap and SWDO staff; University of the Philippines Los Baños; the ever-supportive Council for the Welfare of Children for their kind-heartedness that helped me continue my advocacy.

For comprehensive report, click here.


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