Autism advocate pushes for more programs and services in the Philippines – w/video

Screenshot taken from the YouTube video, Fil-Am autism advocate pushes PH gov't for more services, programs

Screenshot taken from the YouTube video, Fil-Am autism advocate pushes PH gov’t for more services, programs

San Francisco — A Filipino-American autism advocate based in San Francisco is pushing for more programs and services to help children with autism in the Philippines.

Autism Hearts Foundation co-founder Erlinda Borromeo hopes to push for more assistance for children with ASD in the country after seeing firsthand that many cases of autism in the Philippines remain undetected due to the fact that the families of those affected by the developmental disorder aren’t even aware that their children is on the spectrum. According to her:

“When I went to the Philippines, I saw that there were so many who are in need of support. For families, there seems to be nothing, unless you have money in the Philippines.”

Borromeo’s passion for helping children with autism stemmed from her personal experience with the developmental disorder. Her grandson was diagnosed with autism before he even turned two.

According to her:

“It’s really important for parents to learn what is available out there for them.”

Borromeo had been partnering with the Philippine government for the past three years to provide help to low-income families in the country who are in great need of assistance.

“Finally, we have the Philippine government, through the Department of Health and the Department of Social Welfare. We now came up with a national strategic plan for people with autism and related disorders. That means to say that they will have their rights, support services, education, and that’s what we really want.”

Together with the Philippine government, Borromeo and her group had been conducting training for health professionals, social workers, and teachers for a more effective diagnosis of autism, as well as giving them guides on how to better manage the behaviors of children on the spectrum.

With Borromeo’s help, music and art therapies were created to help improve communication skills among the children with autism in the Philippines.

Since she started, Borromeo was already able to extend help to over 400 individuals with ASD in the Philippines, about half of whom are victims of Typhoon Haiyan.

Contributed by Althea Estrella Violeta

Source:ABS-CBN North America News Fil-Am autism advocate pushes for more services, programs