- Know your facts. Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) refers to a range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech and nonverbal communication. Research shows that there is not one autism but many subtypes, affecting an estimated 1% of the world’s population. In the Philippines, autism affects more than 1.2 million Filipinos and many still go undiagnosed. Taboo as well as the general misconception that autism is genetic or caused by stress during pregnancy are some of the reasons why families hide their relatives with autism.
Autism affects more than 1.2 million Filipinos
2. Donate to a therapy dog program. The Gerald Anderson Foundation (yes, the actor!0 founded the Angel Dog Program that trains therapy dogs for children with autism. Children with autism process external stimuli very differently; they are unable to filter out the five senses and can react negatively to what they see, hear, feel, taste, or smell. The therapy dogs of the Angel Dog Program then becomes a focal point in which the children can latch onto when they are scared or uncomfortable. Having firsthand experience relating with children with autism, Gerald hopes to continue nurturing awareness, inspiring change and raising funds to help them. Find out more on https://m.facebook.com/geraldandersonfoundation/
3. Share your story. Almost everybody knows somebody with — and yet it’s not something that we are actively talking about. Maybe it hurts too much, but these stories deserve to be heard to promote awareness and build a supportive, nurturing and productive community.
Candy Pangilinan is an actor, a comedian, and a mother of a child with autism. She has always been an active advocate of early diagnosis and intervention of autism because of her journey with her son Quentin. According to Candy, “Every day is a journey with my son, but it is also a pleasant surprise.” Due to her unwavering positivity, patience, and consistency, Candy has become a key resource and adviser to many mothers who are raising children with autism. Candy will be releasing a book this September entitled: “Mommy Dear: Our Special Love” which is a journal on her experience with her son starting from her pregnancy up until today. She believes that the most powerful support we can give to children with autism is acceptance and love.
4. Join the crusade. The Autism Society Philippines is dedicated to the well-being of persons diagnosed under the Autism Spectrum Disorder. The ASP is comprised of families, teachers, therapists, institutions and other individuals whose lives have been touched by autism and has been in the forefront of providing services to families affected with autism. It has grown from the 11 mothers who bonded together for the causes of their children in 1989, to 10,000 members, with 63 chapters all over the country (as of April 2013). They envision an environment that empowers persons with autism to become, to the best of their potentials, self-reliant, productive and socially accepted members of the community. Towards this, ASP commits itself to the establishment of institutional mechanisms to support persons with autism and their families. Learn more at https://www.facebook.com/autismsocietyphilippines/.
5. Support Kiehl’s x Autism Speaks. Kiehl’s Global is partnering with Matthew McConaughey in support of the Autism Speaks Foundation, a global organization dedicated to promoting solutions for the needs of individuals with autism and their families. For this campaign, Matthew designed the packaging of the Limited Edition Kiehl’s x Autism Speaks Ultra Facial Cream. Locally, Kiehl’s has partnered with Gerald Anderson and Candy Pangilinan in support of the Autism Society Philippines.
Kiehl’s Philippines have collaborated with Gerald Anderson and Candy Pangilinan in establishing a scholarship fund for therapies needed by children with autism. Both will be featured in online videos to be released at the Kiehl’s Philippines Facebook page where they share their journey with and support for autism. These therapies can aid in developing a child’s social skills and can help them become more independent in the future. Help Kiehl’s gain the awareness for the need of early intervention by buying Kiehl’s products. A portion of the proceeds from the month of September will go to support the Autism Society Philippines. Also by purchasing the Limited Edition Ultra Facial Cream designed by Matthew McConnaughey, you can help support the Autism Speaks Foundation.
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