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.

31 May 2014

Nutrition’s Role in Helping Kids with Special Needs

ASP UP CAMP Manila Chapter conducted a talk on Proper Nutrition’s Role in Helping Kids with Special Needs last 03 May 2014 at the Asian Social Institute, Leon Guinto St. Malate, Manila. The seminar is part of the chapter’s series of talks to empower families in taking care of their family member with autism. This seminar is part of the “Early Steps Project” of the chapter.

Nutrition’s Role in Helping Kids seminar participants

The talk presented the current condition of food in society and its effects on one’s health. It also showed the food’s role in changing behavior and how diet can sometimes alleviate co-morbid conditions of children with autism, especially those with gastrointestinal problems. Healthy alternative that is locally available together with samples of healthy Filipino dishes was also presented. Two videos were shows at the start of the talk, “Hungry for Change” to show Food-Body-Nutrition-Healing connection and the rationale why we need to change our ways and a Ted Talk by Dr. Katherine Reid entitled “Unblind my Mind” which tries to explain the Diet and Nutrition’s Role in reversing symptoms of ASD.

Ms. Wilma “Weng” Dela Cruz-Ligot, a mother of 3, shared her own experience on how proper nutrition changed not only her son’s condition for the better, but their whole family as well. The hands-on experience with her son made her a strong believer of proper nutrition’s role in improving the quality of life of children with special needs and she hoped she was able to inspire other parents too. She also believes that parents and caregivers can be empowered by taking charge of the kind of food they eat.

Mr. Roy Amores of Amores Gluten-Free Foods who also attended shared additional inputs to the other attendees. His children, though without autism, have allergy to gluten and casein, thus his business of baking gluten free and casein free (GFCF) foods. He even gave free samples of GFCF cookies to the participants. A good number of participants attended, mix of mothers, fathers and even grandmothers were there to listened and learned more about food and how it can help their families.

There are many interventions we can give children with autism but we hope parents won’t forget that even as basic as taking charge of what their children eat will be a big help in managing their children’s behavior and autism symptoms. Hoping more parents will be open about nutrition’s role in helping kids with special needs.

About the contributors: Jennette F. Rodriguez, a mother to 3 kids, including an boy with autism, is the President of ASP UP CAMP Manila Chapter and a Parent-Volunteer at the Padre Gomez SPED Center. A graduate of BS Commerce major in Economics at University of Santo Tomas, she has assisted in organizing several events of the chapter and has given talks on Orientation on Autism and ASP to different schools and colleges, and PWD Ministries in the Vicariate of Loreto.

Wilma “Weng” Dela Cruz-Ligot is a mother of 10- year old boy with autism. She has been a hands-on mother of her son with special needs. She shares her experiences with other parents and gives talks on how proper nutrition change, not only her son’s condition for the better, but their whole family as well. She strongly believes that proper nutrition can greatly improve the quality of life children with special needs together with their families. She is a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila and has a master unit in Psychology at UP Diliman.


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