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.

02 September 2011

A tale of willpower in ‘Temple Grandin’

A HEARTWARMING story of woman’s perseverance and determination is chronicled in the HBO original movie Temple Grandin. The winner of seven Emmys, 1 Golden Globe and 1 Screen Actors Guild Award, Temple Grandin paints a picture of a young woman’s perseverance and determination while struggling with the isolating challenges of autism at a time when it was still quite unknown.

Claire Danes as Temple Grandin

The movie stars Claire Danes, who won an Emmy, a Golden Globe and a Screen Actors Guild Award for her outstanding performance in the title role. It also co-stars Emmy winners Catherine O’Hara with Julia Ormond and David Strathairn. The HBO Original Movie is based upon the books Emergence and Thinking in Pictures, and is about Grandin’s early diagnosis; her turbulent growth and development during her school years; the enduring support she received from her mother, her aunt and her science teacher; and her emergence as a woman with an innate sensitivity and understanding of animal behavior. Undaunted by educational, social and professional roadblocks, Grandin turned her unique talent into a behavioral tool that revolutionized the cattle industry and laid the groundwork for her successful career as an author, lecturer and pioneering advocate for autism and autism spectrum disorder education.

In conjunction with the premiere of the movie, HBO Asia worked with the Autism Society Philippines (ASP) to hold an exclusive screening of the Emmy and Golden Globe Award winning movie on August 23 at the Quality Life Discoveries Center (QLDC), a premier rehabilitation center that offers holistic services to enrich the lives and to maximize the full potential of the well and differently-abled.

The event aimed to contribute towards the society’s continuous efforts to advocate and educate the public on the need for early intervention for children with autism.

After the screening members of the media and guests were given a tour of QLDC facility to showcase various program and facilities that parents could consider for the education of their autistic children. A panel discussion followed the screening with the representatives of HBO Asia and ASP, a developmental pediatrician, and the special participation of JR Tan and Gabby Atienza, two of Philippines’ very own “Temple Grandins,” as participants.

Like Dr. Temple Grandin, Tan and Atienza have matured into productive individuals, with skills and talents that they learned despite their autism. Tan is now a senior student at the Messiah College taking up BS Accountancy, minor in Biblical studies. Atienza is an in-house artist of the Center for Autism and Related Disorders in Las Pinas City. Their lives give eloquent testimony to what Dr. Temple Grandin says about autistic persons, “We are different but not less.”

The Autism Society Philippines is a national, nonprofit organization dedicated to the well-being of persons with autism spectrum disorder. It is comprised of families, teachers, therapists, institutions and other individuals whose lives have been touched by autism. It envisions an environment that empowers persons with autism spectrum disorder to become, to the best of their potentials, self-reliant, productive and socially accepted members of the community.

Directed by four-time Directors Guild Award winner Mick Jackson from a screenplay by Christopher Monger and Writers Guild Award winner William Merritt Johnson, Temple Grandin premieres tonight at 10 p.m. on HBO and HBO HD.

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Acknowledgment: The Manila Times, A tale of willpower in ‘Temple Grandin’


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