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.

18 May 2011

We All Need Friends!

By: Cricel Elises, Administrative Staff

Who doesn’t want to have friends? Of course all of us want to have friends and enjoy the feeling of being with friends.

To provide an opportunity to reach this goal, ASP National conducted a Back to Back Seminar on “Social Skills and Developing Social Skills through Effective Communication” last April 30, 2011 at Asian Social Institute, Malate Manila.

The first speaker, Ms. Giselle Bayhon-Principe, founder of the Outdoor Play Group Philippines and Administrator of Mind Matters Christian Academy talked about the basics of social skills. She also shared some tips how individual in the autism spectrum can have friends and how adults can help them.
Ms. Gieselle Bayhon-Principe

Bullying, the perennial problem of students with autism was also included in her lecture with the following tips on how to handle bullies:
  1. Act brave, walk away, and ignore the bully. Firmly and clearly tell the bully to stop, and then walk away.

  2. Tell an adult. Teachers, principals, parents, and lunchroom personnel at school can all help stop bullying.
Below are some of the feedbacks of the attendees

“Ms. Giselle was effective in delivering subject matter”

“The said topic is very helpful to me since I am teaching a high-functioning kid”

“It helped me to be equipped in helping my son”.

The second speaker was Kate Reyes, a speech and language pathologist and co-owner of Independently, a family centered clinic in San Pascual, Batangas. Teacher Kate discussed the different ways or strategies on how to develop social skills through effective communication. She focused her discussion on the importance of communication in the development of social skills of children with autism.
Ms. Kate Reyes

To clearly emphasize her points, Teacher Kate showed pictures of her students in their social skills classes such as riding in a jeepney, cooking, going to supermarket, swimming, visiting museum, libraries and the fire department of Makati City. The natural environments where children with autism can practice and enhance the skills they learned in school.

One of the participants said that “the speaker has a sense of humor that entices the audience to react and participates.” “She’s so funny. I love her!

Another said “No further elaboration needed because it was explained well already”.

As we all know, no man is an island. The two seminars attended by 37 participants composed of parents and professionals coming from different schools and institutions were of great help not only to individuals with autism but also to people around them who can guide and teach them how to be a friend and develop a true and lasting friendship.
The participants of the said back to back seminars


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