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.

21 May 2015

Nurturing a Parents' Support Group

I prefer calling our ASP’s Family Support Group (FSG) meetings PSGs for better recall. I know you are thinking Presidential Security Group, but it could also mean Parent Support Group, right?

I was privileged to have facilitated the 18 April 2015 FSG held at the old ASP office in Kamias. It was a small group of four parents: a couple Rizalina and Aldrich Lagmay who came with their PWA Ezekiel, a young Dad named Racel Reyes with a 3 yr. old son with autism and a Mom Virginia Bolosa whose daughter not only has autism but has down syndrome too.

Josephine Palomares leading Family Support Group to 5 parents

As wide as the spectrum of ASD is, is the experiences shared by these parents. I was impressed with the couple Lagmay whose only son, Ezekiel, is now a college student. The couple shared how they have remained ‘hands-on’ up to this day, with Rizalina giving up a full-time job.

Daddy Racel, on the other hand, being a young dad that he is, is so anxious and confused on how to deal with his 3-yr old son. While he has much to learn from autism itself, I am amazed that he took it upon himself to personally look after his son.

Mom Virginia struggles with work while she learns all treatments and interventions for both autism and down syndrome. It helps that she is a SPED teacher but having a daughter with two disabilities can be a daunting task for a working widow like her.

A parent myself, I share with then not only the worries, anxieties, heartaches, pain; but also the triumphs and accomplishments of living our lives with autism. Autism, after all, is the one thing that have in common and the one thing that we will bind us together.

About the author: Jo Palomares has long been the face of autism advocacy for ASP Diliman chapter. After serving as the President of the chapter for multiple terms, she continues to serve the disability community as she leads the Kaakibat ng ASP Quezon City Credit Cooperative; and contributes as an active member of the Association for Adults with Autism. She owns and personally manages a thriving model airplane export business in Bulacan. Her son Macky is on the spectrum.


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