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.

23 May 2011

ASP UP CAMP Manila Chapter Conducts 2 FSG

By: Jennette F. Rodriguez, ASP UP-CAMP Chapter Secretary

To maximize the vacation, Autism Society UP CAMP Manila chapter conducted 2 Family Support Group (FSG) Meetings within the month of May.

The first was on May 6, 2011, facilitated by Ms. Jacqueline Garcia, President of ASP Molino, Bacoor Chapter. 9 parents, 1 grand mother, 2 children with special needs (CSN), 2 siblings of CWAs, 2 nurses and a research assistant attended the FSG.

Ms. Jac shared about their journey through autism and how early intervention really helped her child’s progress. She reminded the participants that autism is not a disease but is a disorder. It isn’t treatable either but it is manageable that is why each parent must do continuous research and seek help from professionals to learn more about their child’s condition. This is a way for them to immediately address the behavioral concerns of their kids. She advised the parents to also treat the CWAs as normal children but understand that there are some delays in their development. Parents must be the direct caregivers of their child; they must be keen observers, must be creative and resourceful in teaching their kids. She reiterated the importance of our belief in God and continuous faith in Him amidst all the problems we are encountering.
ASP Molino Chapter President with the participants of May 6 Family Support Group

Some thoughts given by the parents: “I’m not alone and I learned that there are people/groups that are concerned and willing to help. Through the sharing, I got ideas that will help with the improvement of my child.”, “I should give more time to my daughter with autism”, “Parent-child activities must be strengthened.”

The second FSG was held last May 20, 2011, facilitated by Mr. Evert Malapad, President of ASP Metro South chapter and Trustee of ASP National. This time, 8 parents, 1 grandmother, 2 CWAs, 3 professionals and 1 relative of a CWA attended.

Because of the behavioral problems that the parents in the 1st FSG cited, the 2nd FSG was done to give the parents an overview of how to start a home program plan for their kids. After Mommy Jeng Rodriguez presented a run through of the importance of implementing a home program plan and some guidelines in planning (lessons learned from a recent ASP seminar she attended with Mommy Beth). Click here to read the report on the "Developing a Home Program Plan".

Sir Evert shared about how he and his whole family implemented and is still continuously doing the home program for Mae-Mae, their CWA. He gave tips and strategies on how to address the concerns of the parents who attended, and showed the sample task analysis and schedule board done by parent and chapter president Beth Udquin. Common issues mentioned were toileting, waiting, sitting, grabbing, tantrums, head banging, puberty problems and picky eating. Mr. Malapad mentioned that important details in doing the home program is consistency in implementing the rules to the child, cooperation and teamwork between the members of the family, resourcefulness, patience and dedication of the parents, proper monitoring and planning for the home program to be effective.
Issues and concerns was discussed during the Family Support Group

Parents would know how to best teach their children and they are the ones who are with them most of the time, so time must be used wisely and productively in teaching the children. The family must be the lead in taking care of a child’s well-being and home intervention is a way to give early intervention to a CWA. Basic problem behaviors in children like sitting, waiting and attention span must first be addressed because these are requirements before the child can be taught other secondary skills like personal hygiene and more complex skills when they grow up. Toileting and bathing must be addressed early in life for a CWA to be independent and self-reliant and so as to avoid embarrassing situations when they get older. But again parents were advised to teach skills which the child needs and not what the parents wants and parents must consider their child’s abilities to decide which lessons to prioritize.

With these two FSGs, parents of CWAs discovered that intervention really begins and ends at home with the family. Family support groups meetings are really an effective way to reach out to other parents and learn from each other’s experiences.

Contact ASP UP CAMP Manila chapter through email: Or contact President Beth Udquin 0929-514-6801 / Secretary Jeng Rodriguez 0922-896-9612. Join our group page at facebook, just search for Autism Society Philippines (ASP) UP CAMP Manila chapter.


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