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.

17 January 2018

Thoughts of a speech pathologist-to-be

After knowing that I was to be one of the speakers in this year’s Angels Walk, mixed emotions begin to flood in. I for one am not a confident speaker and it felt as if I was not good enough for the part since I was still just a student. But then realization struck upon me that it does not matter what one’s occupation may be, anyone can be a part of this for as long as you have care and compassion. With that in mind, I was able to deliver my speech with utmost sincerity. My heart goes to everyone with ASD.

Being a speech language pathology student, I see the need to increase the awareness about ASD. With increased awareness, more people will be more understanding and helpful. One does not need to show grand gestures, being kind and understanding is more than enough. Also, to make a better world for them and for all of us, we should not be judgmental because we are all uniquely created by God and ASD is something one should not be ashamed of. We should not make anybody feel as an outcast; instead we must make everyone feel that they too can be part of the bigger picture - a part of the community. Truly, acceptance of the differences we all have should be practiced by us all and it will remarkably be the start of a better world.

As early as freshman year, we were already given the chance to observe different kinds of patients that need our help including children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). According to statistics, there is a big demand of speech therapists here in the Philippines because there is a higher number of cases than the number of speech therapists available. Most of them are from Manila; others simply choose to work there. It was even mentioned during one of our seminars in school that people from provinces would go all the way to Manila just to have their children assessed because there are no available speech therapists in their place. With this said, I can feel the need to serve and come back here to work. I may still be a student, but I can already envision things I might be able to contribute in what little help I can give. It truly needs patience and understanding to make our world a better place.

I want to help and be a part of this community. One of the things we do is help children communicate or simply express themselves. To be able to express oneself, we give them a whole new perspective and lease on life. Communication is a big part of our lives and with communication comes understanding, and with understanding comes the fulfillment of things hoped for. By doing so we build a better future not just for them but for all of us as well.

I think it is important to know that we must accept that having ASD is something one shouldn’t be ashamed of. Once people start accepting, other people will come to know and be aware of it which will entail more people wanting to help and be involved because after all...

Each and everyone of us is different and unique in our own way and I guess we should just keep in mind that Autism is not a disability, it’s a different ability. Autism is not a disability, it is a different ability!


About the contributor. Zoe Gabrielle Villaflor Capungcol is a speech language pathology student at the University of Santo Tomas. She delivered this message at the Angels Walk for Autism 2018 in Tacloban City.

ASP Tacloban is one of our 93 chapters to-date.  To join the Autism Society Philippines, go to http://bit.ly/asp-join. 

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