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.

27 June 2011

Gregarious Meeting

By: JR Tan, Person with Autism


Being a parent to a child with autism is a very hectic task. They need plenty of support and encouragement. I had the opportunity to meet some of these mothers– working moms, single moms, and first-time participant moms on June 18, 2011 Family Support Group at the ASP National Office. The meeting began at 1 p.m.


Later, another mother accompanied her 18 year old son with autism, Carl Greg, who studies at Independent Living Learning Center (ILLC). He owns Gregarious Gifts, “Me and My Gregarious Gifts” a gifts shop where he sells gift items. Carl donated some earnings to ASP. What a great help!


Participants during the Family Support Group


After we introduced ourselves, I kept quiet as the mothers narrated their experiences and hard times. Each mom raised concerns about their children with autism. I didn’t say anything at first.


During the discussion, one mother said that her son has behavior problems like not being able to cope in a regular classroom setting. Different children behave differently in a classroom. One child with autism would not be able to sit still during a class, but the other may be attentive in a class of at least 40 students.


I have heard from the mother of Carl, that in UP can have as much as 120 pupils in a class! Again, it depends on the child’s ability to listen and filter out distractions bothering him.


Transitioning a child from High School to College will all depend on the child’s needs and skills.You can consult an Occupational Therapist to help assess the strengths and skills of your child or visit a Neuropsychologist for a comprehensive evaluation.


I also explained that some children with autism may not cope with a traditional class setting. For instance, student A may not focus in a class of many students, while student B would pay attention to the lesson with several pupils.


In the case of student A, he would benefit from a class with a few students as well as lessons tailored to his needs (e.g. Individualized Educational Program, or Special Education, etc.). In the case of student B, there is not much problem in dealing with this matter. What works for one child may not work for the other.

In my personal experience in elementary and high school, I was able to study in a class of 40 pupils. While in college, I am, at least, comfortable with few students. As long as I can pay attention to the lesson, that’s what matters.


Education is a human right. And having a successful learning experience will only be possible through the understanding and opportunities given by institutions of higher learning for persons with autism. An open communication with the academic dean and the guidance counseling department can be of great help to your child.


Another mother asked me about my tips for surviving college. I mentioned that it all depends on the child as well as the professionals’ recommendations. Circumstances should also be taken into consideration. In my case, I only took 15 units on my very 1st semester of my college life as not to overwhelm me with the demands and pressures of school work. It took a few more semesters for me to take a full-load course. Again, what works for me may not work for the other.


I personally found this session enjoyable; I had the opportunity to listen and learn about the concerns of the mothers of children with autism as well as their struggles. It will take a lot of patience, perseverance, as well as hard work to achieve the CWA’s fullest potential. Click here to read more tips.


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About the author: JR Tan is college senior taking up BS Accountancy, with minor in Biblical Studies. He dreams of becoming a Certified Public Accountant in the future. He is regularly contributes articles to ASP's blog and volunteers in ASP activities. He is passionate about autism rights is one of the first self-advocate members of Autism Society Philippines.



Be an Angel for Autism. Donate generously to ASP Programs and Services. Donate to Autism Society Philippines Metrobank Kamias Branch 047-3-04751874-2. Email us at autismphils@gmail.com or call 9266941 / 9298447.

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