NEU-SPED promotes autism awareness

IN COOPERATION WITH the Christian Family Organizations (CFO) Office, the New Era University-Integrated School Special Education Department (NEU-SPED) promoted awareness on the Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) through the Conference on Autism 2019. Parents of children with autism and CFO officers from the six Metro Manila ecclesiastical districts attended the gathering held at the University Hall on March 30, 2019.

The conference was keynoted by the reading of the message of the Executive Minister, Brother Eduardo V. Manalo. In his message, he sympathized with the Christian family’s meeting the challenges of daily living. He noted that facing these challenges requires making the right decisions that are well-grounded.

Brother Eduardo Manalo encouraged all to take part in learning about ASD to have an understanding of this to be able to help and properly deal with persons with ASD, as well as their parents. In this way, he asserted, activities appropriate for brethren with ASD could be launched wherein they would all the more feel the love of brotherhood. In closing his letter, Brother Eduardo Manalo urged everyone to fully trust in God since He can turn even the toughest situation into something beneficial for His chosen ones (Rom. 8:28) and to follow His commandments in caring and providing for one’s family.

Sister Genalyn Aguila, a developmental and behavioral pediatrician, spoke on the early detection and correct diagnosis of ASD. Providing a backgrounder, she said, “ASD is a condition among children, and even adults, in which they find it hard to deal with other people. They interpret differently what they experience in their surroundings. We need to tackle this so that we will be provided with a broader knowledge about this condition so that we can help children with ASD be accepted in our society.”

For her part, Sister True-Jade Resurreccion, a registered occupational therapist, gave a brief introduction on Sensory Integration (SI). In this process of brain, it organizes and interprets sensory experiences, which include touch, movement, body awareness, sight, sound, smell, taste, and the pull of gravity. As SI provides a crucial foundation for later, more complex learning and behavior, she said, “SI is one proven good help for children with ASD for them to have a better understanding in adjusting to interventions, the activities in school and at home, so they can be more functional, and finish the tasks expected of them.”

Meanwhile, Sister Sally Lopez, NEU-SPED teacher, discussed the importance of family involvement in the home and in the school. She said, “When every family member, not only the parents, participate in handling, assisting, and educating the children with ASD, it results in higher success rate for child development, mostly to those who are typically developing. The higher the rate of family involvement, the higher is the chance that the students will become successful in life.”

A video presentation entitled “Raising an Autistic Child,” from an Iglesia Ni Cristo online program “Faith Speaks,” was also shown. In the said video, a parent, Sister Emirick Haro, narrates how she and her husband are able to see their child’s progress not only by having a positive outlook in life but, most especially, by seeking the Almighty God’s help.

On behalf of the children, parents, guardians, and SPED teachers, Brother Ed H. Lumbao, the NEU-SPED Department Director, said, “We are so grateful that our Executive Minister, Brother Eduardo V. Manalo, supports brethren who have children with ASD. We thank him so much for launching this activity intended for children with such condition and their parents.”


This article was originally published in the Pasugo: God’s Message magazine.