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.

30 September 2013

The Miller Method: A Different Approach

Dr. Lucille Montes with Dr. Sonia Mastrangelo and Dr. Stephen Shore

The Miller Method has a cognitive-developmental approach and incorporates developing capacity for using language. It uses the child’s behavioral repertoire and transforms these, even if they don’t seem to serve any purpose, into something functional, instead of extinguishing them. The child’s organized “‘chunks’ of behavior, perception or thought” are called “systems” and the key to this method is understanding how systems work. What I like best about this method is that it does not stop at the child’s rote compliance that gives the appearance of meaningful functioning but rather aims to see evidence from the child of real understanding.

Those who have been working with individuals in the autism spectrum know that there is no “one size that fits all” in terms of intervention. I am fortunate to have come across the Miller Method introduced to me by my Filipina friend Denese Dumol, who is based in Canada and herself is mother to JB who has ASD and is now an adult. Denese has an M.A. in Special Education and has over 30 years of experience as clinician, educator, and consultant in Toronto on developmental disabilities. She studied the Miller Method® under its proponent Dr. Arnold Miller himself in the U.S.A. After reading Dr. Miller’s book that Denese lent me, I was convinced this is my method of choice in giving interventions to my clients before trying anything else. I therefore decided to study it myself in Dr. Miller’s Language and Cognitive Development Center. Sadly, Dr. Miller passed away last year. His son, Ethan, nevertheless, proceeded with organizing a training workshop conducted by Dr. Miller’s very expert therapists who personally trained under him for many years.

This article is a contribution of Dr. Lucille Montes: Lucille A. Montes is a certified family physician and a registered psychologist. Her clinic, Familiaris Counselling Center, is in south Metro Manila. She also teaches graduate subjects in De La Salle University-Manila.


Learn about more interesting modalities of therapy at the 2013 Philippine National Autism Conference on 26-27 October 2013 at the Meralco Multi-Purpose Hall. Themed “Hope for ‘A’ Nation,” the confab will tackle issues and experiences relevant to an autism community that is striving for acceptance and inclusion in Philippine mainstream society.

The event is designed to provide information on developments relevant to allied medical professionals, social servants and community workers who work with autism. Most importantly, the event was created for the growing community of parents, family members and individuals on the autism spectrum who are seeking answers, quality support and fellowship. For more details, visit


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