The Autism Society Philippines (ASP) is a national, non-profit organization dedicated to the well-being of persons with autism spectrum disorder. The ASP has been in the forefront of providing services and training to families living with autism.

01 September 2015

Q&A with Autism Experts - September 2015

"It takes a village to raise a child." This African proverb rings louder for children with autism. The Autism Society Philippines believes that parents should build relationships with a professional compassionate support team who can advise and counsel them, in addressing the myriad of questions they have about raising a child on the spectrum. 

"If you have met someone with autism, you have met ONE person with autism." There is no substitute for personal consultations with professionals, which consider traits and behaviors unique to the individual with autism. 

As ASP continues to receive questions from parents and family members year-round, we have reached out to the following experts to help answer some concerns on health, education and intervention. 

I have a friend, who got this condition and he was very sensitive in other things at times. I felt that it was so fast for him to get stubborn, mad. Frustrated in words that I said to him. Do you think it is also because of a bad experience from his childhood that is why it was so fast for him to get into this kind of reaction? Thanks --- Arena R. 

Maitanong ko po, diagnosed po ba ng doktor yung taong sinasabi ninyong may Asperger Syndrome o hinala lang po na mayroong ganitong kondisyon yung kaibigan ninyo? Ngayon po hindi na po ginagamit ang terminong Asperger Syndrome. Ito po ay bahagi ng Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) na isang kondisyon na mula sa kakaibang development ng utak ng tao. Hindi po ito nagmumula o dulot ng masamang karanasan ng tao. Ang taong may ASD, tulad ng sinabi ninyo, ay hirap umunawa ng ibig sabihin ng facial expressions, tono ng pananalita at iba pang social cues. Kaya maaaring mali ang interpretasyon niya sa sinasabi ng iba kaya hindi rin akma ang reaksyon niya. Nakakatulong minsan ang paggamit ng litrato, pag sulat sa halip na pagbigkas lamang ng gusto ninyong sabihin. Iwasan ang paggamit ng idioms at patalinhagang pananalita. May iba pang stratehiyang nakakatulong sa mga taong may ASD na ma-improve ang kanilang social at communication skills tulad ng "Social Thinking" ni Michelle Winner. Maaari pong sumangguni sa speech therapist tungkol dito. 

Since my son turned 13, we started to have problems with his aggression (biting hitting head butting). Doctors even gave me anti tetano shots for his bites. He wasn't like that before. He was on sped and various therapies since he was 2. Is it puberty? When does it stop? --- Jeannie P.

Appearance of aggressive behaviors during adolescence has been observed in several teenagers with autism. It maybe due to hormonal changes but it could also be due to other factors. It would be best to also consult your child's developmental pediatrician to rule out any other physiological conditions. Also, if really disruptive, the doctor may prescribe medicine that will help decrease your son's aggression. We cannot foretell when it will stop, although aggressive behaviors may decrease as the teen ager gets older. Do consult your devped for appropriate management.

I am from Mie Japan working in an international foundation. Recently a number of Filipino children (preschooler) living here in are being suspected to have developmental disorder namely ADHD and autism but the basic concern of the Japanese medical professionals is how to clearly explain to the parents the mental state of their children because of the language barrier. Is it possible to ask for a copy of mental test sheet written either in English or Filipino so that they can review and compare it to the one they have. --- Marychel C.

You may download the MChat - a screening tool for autism - from this site: https://m-chat.org/mchat.php and https://www.m-chat.org/. You may also download a copy of the autism primer from this site: http://www.helpguide.org/articles/autism/autism-symptoms-and-early-signs.htm

Cecilia Sicam is one of the 11 original founders of the Autism Society Philippines. She has served ASP in many capacities, as President from 2000 to 2004; and as its current Vice President. Inspired by her PWA son Likas, Ces has been instrumental in the founding of Professionals for Autism Foundation, Inc., Center for Autism and Related Disorders, the Philippine Association for Behavioral Analysis, and Bridges Foundation where she is currently its Directress. She taught SpEd for three years at Santa Clara, California; and came back to serve Filipino children with special needs.

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