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.

19 March 2012

ASP Chair Emeritus Inspire 2012 UST Student Awardees

By Tiffany Tan, ASP Board Secretary

ASP Chaiman Emeritus Erlinda "Dang" Koe
ASP Chair Emeritus, Dang Koe, gave an inspirational address to almost a thousand at the University of Sto. Tomas, during the 2012 UST Students Awards Day. The event was held at the college’s newly built Quadricentennial Pavilion last March 16, 2012. Student awardees were honored for their extra ordinary excellence in various fields.

Dang recalled that as a young college student, her plans were simple: to get a nice job in public relations, work her way up in the corporate ladder, receive fat salaries/perks and marry a well-off man, have 3 kids and live happily ever after.

“The Lord granted my wish, even though I was not praying hard then. But the Lord has other plans for me. He decided to give me a son, Gio, my first born, with autism. Do you know that for every 100 children now, one will be diagnosed with some form of autism? So that means, if we have 300 people here, 3 of you might have a child with autism.”

With almost one million Filipino families dealing with autism daily, Dang said she tries to prepare for a better future for her son, who will need lifetime supervision. “I realized my family cannot stay out of the big picture. So kinareer ko rin ang pagiging bongang-bongang pagiging autism advocate. (I made autism advocacy my career). I thank the Lord, that he helped me find my real purpose in life, before I turned 50.”

Earlier in her opening salvo, she said she was “super ingit” (really envious) of the student recipients because she had never received any special award as a college student of AB Communication Arts from the Faculty of Arts and Letters. But only 32 years later after graduation was she accoladed with the prestigious 2009 UST The Outstanding Thomasian Alumni (TOTAL) Award for Humanitarian Service.

Her short and high impact inspirational speech was ended with a prayer for the awardees; that they may be good stewards of their God-given talents and for the Creator to grant them wisdomin finding their purpose in life.

Click here to watch video courtesy of ustream

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To request for an “Understanding Autism” seminar or similar activity in your area, write us at autismphils@gmail.com or call us at 929-8447 or 926-6941.

The 12th National and 2nd Southeast Asian Conference on Autism will be held on April 28-29, 2012, featuring interactive on-line interviews with Temple Grandin, one of Time Magazine’s 2010 “100 Most Influential People” and Stephen Shore, one of the co-authors of “Understanding Autism for Dummies”. Visit our Facebook page for more information.

1 comments:

Helen said...

Ms. Dang Koe is my idol but I never met her personally although I saw her thrice in some ASP gatherings. I admire her strong will power and unselfish effort for Autism advocacy.

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