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 February 2018

Q&A with Autism Experts - February 2018

"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.

My 5year old son Nino is diagnosed with autism,he can identify letters in English alphabets and pronounce it except letter w,he says it as do for letter w.whenever u say something to him he responds by saying mama only.No other words just mama.How could I improve him more ?Since he refuses to pay attention whenever I teach him new things but he is interested only in English alphabets. --- M. Cabacungan

Do attend ASP’s monthly family support group meetings (every third Saturday of the month) and monthly seminars to learn the different interventions, approaches and strategies that you can use to help your child. --- Cecilia Sicam

You can use playing with Alphabet toys in plenty of ways to stimulate your son’s speech and language skills. Using an Alphabet puzzle, you can make him request for each letter by prompting him to: (1) Say “Give”, and (2) Imitate the sounds of the Alphabet. Introduce different materials (pup-up toys, musical toys, flashcards, etc.) with alphabet designs to gain his attention and interest. Provide language stimulation by talking to him about what he’s doing and what you yourself are doing with the toy. This will provide him with the words he needs to comprehend and eventually use for communication. Encourage imitation of the words that you model. Reinforce and reward efforts to imitate with verbal praises or access to toys.

Consult a speech-language pathologist for a more intensive management of your son’s speech and language delay. --- Elinor Cunanan-Bautista, CSP-PASP

Hi po. My youngest brother was diagnosed when he was 3 y/o having mild autism. Since then, nag-undergo siya ng therapy and now graduating na siya from Grade 6 regular school and turning 13 y/o. Is it advisable na sa normal school pa rin siya mag-aral since meron siya behaviour na nilalaro niya ung left hand niya even during classes. May difficulty siya in terms of Math subject but he is really advance naman in writing, geography and maps, memorizing ung mga gusto niya like countries etc.  --- A. Braza

There is no straightforward answer to this since it will depend on whether his regular school can provide the kind of education he needs to become functional as an adult. First of all, your family needs to take a realistic look at your brother’s strengths, interests, needs and limitations. What do you think he can potentially become as an adult? Do keep in mind that work behaviors and work ethics are more important than cognitive skills in determining employability of a person with autism. Aside from his school, he may need additional support to address his other needs. An assessment and recommendation by your Developmental Pediatrician &/or OT will be a big help. --- Cecilia Sicam

Elinor Cunanan-Bautista, CSP-PASP is the current President of the Philippine Association of Speech Pathologists. She is a practicing speech-language pathologist at Primary Skills Foundation in Quezon City. She is a PROMPT® Level 2 practitioner. Aside from being a clinician, she is a special lecturer at the University of the Philippines Manila.

She completed her Bachelor of Science degree in Speech Pathology from the University of the Philippines Manila in 1997.  She further honed her skills as an educator by taking units in Master of Arts in Education, Major in Special Education, from 2000-2002 at the University of the Philippines Diliman.  She also took units in Master of Rehabilitation Science - Speech Pathology from 2004-2005 at the University of the Philippines Manila.

Ms. 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 Santa Clara, California; and came back to serve Filipino children with special needs.


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