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.

11 October 2012

ASP Naga: “Embracing a Mission and Making a Difference”

By Ms.Mildred Briguera-Serra,OTRP




The  ASP  Naga  Chapter  held its orientation and enrichment seminar entitled “Embracing a Mission, Making a Difference” last 29 September 2012 at the Multimedia Hall of St. Joseph School. The seminar aimed to empower the parents, professionals and other future advocates of special children. It also aimed to promote awareness of the participants on the vision, mission and objectives  of  the Autism Society as a support group, to promote education on  the rights and privileges of children with special needs and to share knowledge about various strategies in handling special children and in leading healthy family lives in spite of these challenges.

Mrs . Maria Beatriz S.Balmaceda, the ASP Naga President, a dedicated mother  of a  loving special child, rendered the first lecture which was about the vision-mission-objectives of the Autism Society of the Philippines.  She spoke about her experiences as a mother to a special child, both the challenges and the joyful moments.

Ms. Mildred Briguera-Serra, the ASP Naga secretary and an occupational therapist who presently serves at the Lance-Yuri KidSPOT Early Intervention and Habilitation Center and Help Learning Foundation , discussed autism and the behaviors associated with the triad of impairments. She spoke about understanding sensory processing disorders, as well as practical ways of giving sensory and behavioural management support.

Mrs.Divina Coruno, ASP Naga Auditor lead the group in the afternoon ice breaker.  Mrs. Eleanor Dichoso, the Vice President of ASP Naga, who is a mother of a young consistent academic  achiever, followed, discussing the rights and privileges of children with autism and other disabilities.

Ms. Gilda Gayle Gomez, an inspiring psychologist from Ateneo de Naga University shared her knowledge on coping mechanisms.  She started with some related video clips which convey the feelings, experiences, and joys of a father living with his special child.  The participants --  parents, guardians, relatives and teachers --  shared their struggles and how they try to deal with them.  Ms. Gomez later expounded on the different ways the participants have been coping with the rigors of handling children with special needs.  She emphasized the significance of being strengthened constantly through meaningful and practical ways.

As a joyful punctuation to the seminar, the officers led the participants in a dance to the tune of “I Gotta Feeling”.  All happily danced.  All had a great time.  All had their blood pumped.  Through dance, the participants joined together in celebrating:  ”Never, never give you , we can make it through.”

The seminar was a success in many ways.  It oriented and enriched this budding chapter on information important in autism advocacy; but also encouraged the participants to keep their faith and to share hopes of triumph over our struggles.  We are reminded that the parents of special children, with the help of the support group and services, are the first and best teachers of their kids.  The importance of family involvement in the implementation of appropriate programs and services in key to success in the lives of persons with special needs.

 “ASP Naga Chapter is now joyfully embracing a mission to continuously make a great difference. ASP Naga shines.  ASP Naga smiles at the world.”

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