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.

22 July 2014

A Seminar on "How Language Develops"

ASP Tacloban Chapter conducted a seminar on How Language Develops last 21 June 2014 at the Executive House of the Eastern Visayas State University. The seminar was facilitated by Speech Pathologist Suselyn Pascual and assisted by Maria Lourdes Vallesteros. Parents of CWAs and a number of SpEd teachers were in attendance.

How Language Develops seminar group discussion

Ms. Suselyn Pascual opened the seminar by enlightening the audience about the difference between speech, language, and communication. She made it clear that the process of formulating words, word combinations, or word meaning in the mind is still a function of language and the only part that is considered speech is the actual production of the sounds or words. Communication, on the other hand, focuses on the meaningful interchange of information. This is a very important point to note as it is challenging for people outside the field to identify these basic differences. Also, with this information, it is easier for parents and teachers to understand the development of speech, language, and communication of persons with autism and to identify specific priorities.

The discussion continued with the details on how language develops giving emphasis on the importance of exposing children with autism to the concepts in their environment.

Ms. Susy also shared basic tips on how to help non-verbal or low verbal children with autism develop speech. The parents and teachers were encouraged to observe their children’s imitation skills. For instance, it was pointed out that children who have difficulty imitating gross motor movements will definitely experience difficulty in imitating oro-motor movements, which is a requirement in developing speech.

The activity concluded with a group discussion, the participants were divided into two groups depending on the language level of their children, to help the parents and teachers deal with their specific difficulties.

About the author: Kris Garcia is one of the pioneer teachers of the Tacloban Center for Autism and other Developmental Disabilities which was closed after typhoon Yolanda. Teachers and parents from TCADD regrouped and opened the Eastern Visayas Center for Autism and other Developmental Disabilities last February 2014 reaching out to the whole Eastern Visayas, not just Tacloban City. Teacher Kris graduated at UP Tacloban in BS Psychology last 2009, took up teaching units in Leyte Normal University and became a licensed teacher last 2013.


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