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.

19 February 2013

Empowering Persons with Autism through Employment

A young vibrant woman from Australia flew in to give a talk on how to Empower Persons with Autism (PWA) through Employment. Ms. Emily Caska, an Executive Officer of Lifestyle Solutions- an Australian non-government organization, who has been serving the disability sector in her country for the past 12 years, came over for a very short stay to spread the word of hope and empowerment during the 17th National Autism Consciousness Week forum at the Sky Dome of SM City North EDSA on Friday, 25 January 2013.

Ms. Caska said that to empower PWAs is to give them access to information, to exercise their decision-making, to have a range of options for which they can make choices from, and to give opportunities to make wrong choices and let them see the consequences. For Emily, she said that it is okay for PWAs to make wrong choices for they can learn from them. She further clarified that if PWAs are empowered they can stand up for themselves and can clearly articulate, not necessary to verbalize, their needs and potentials.

Back in Australian, Emily said that their government gives subsidy to those with autism disorder. They are empowered and helped in diverse ways possible. They are provided with employment opportunities in different areas like coffee shops and laundry shops. They can work in services like in community garden services and community maintenance services. Others prefer to work in an office set up. And all of these are possible for PWAs in Australia. Possible because they have united and worked together to achieve their goals – and one of the goals is to open a gate of opportunities to PWAs. It is her hope that in our country, a time will come that the same opportunities will be given to PWAs as she expressed her willingness to create partnership with ASP in providing employment opportunities.

She cautioned the parents, guardians and caregivers that the worst thing that, we, ordinary people, could do is to use languages that may challenge their abilities and their being that could destroy their dreams and potentials to the maximum. She added that we should think critically and see things differently.

Emily Caska's web profile quotes Lilia Watson and summarizes her view on empowering PWAs, "If you have come to help me, you are wasting your time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together.”


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