After a successful congress in 2010 in Bangkok, Thailand, the ASEAN Autism Network (AAN) will be having its second congress on April 27 and 29, 2013 at the Rizqun International Hotel, Brunei Darussalam.
The event, initiated by AAN and hosted by the Society for the Management of Autism Related issues in Training, Education and Resources (SMARTER) Brunei, will bring together parents of persons with autism, professionals and advocates from the different countries in Southeast Asia. It aims to provide new information on autism as well as strategies and interventions. It will also enable participants from other countries to share experiences of their journey with persons with autism.
Prior to the congress, a general assembly meeting and election of new officers and committee heads will be conducted on April 26, 2013. The new set of officers will be responsible in leading the organization to reach its goal for an autism friendly ASEAN community.
Aside from the congress and the general assembly, an Autism Youth Camp with the theme “Building an I-C.A.F.E. (Interaction, Companionship, Affection and a Friendly Environment)” for Individuals with Autism will also be held on April 25-27, 2013.
The camp that will be participated by youths with autism from the different ASEAN countries will focus on developing their socialization skills through different structured activities. It will also provide them with opportunities to develop their personal and management skills. A gala night fashion show style will culminate the camp wherein the youths will showcase their respective national costumes.
Autism Society Philippines (ASP) will be represented by Erlinda Koe, Chair Emeritus, Cecile Sicam, Vice President, Mary Grace Adviento, Auditor, Gina Bermudo, Trustee and Ranil Sorongon, Executive Director.
ASP’s Dream Girls, Thara Marie Santiago and Danica Escasinas, will join the youth camp and will be singing during the Camp’s Opening Ceremony and the Gala Night . Thara’s Mommy Geeta and Nica’s Mommy Christine, together with Ms. Estirlinda, the personal assistant of Thara, will accompany the young ladies in this momentous event.
AAN is a parent support organization in Southeast Asia that promotes the rights and welfare of persons with autism and their families. It is composed of parent organizations from Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam. The Asia Pacific Development Center on Disability in Bangkok, Thailand serves as its Secretariat.