by Camille Anne Mendizabal, Emmanuelle Dominique Mendoza, and Neil Arwin Mercado
On September 17, the Autism Society of the Philippines (ASP) – Laguna Chapter and the local government of Los Baños inaugurated the Los Baños Community Center for Therapy Intervention and Support Services (LBCC-TISS) in Brgy. Timugan as part of the activities for Banamos Festival.
The construction of the LBCC-TISS was funded by the Direct Aid Program (DAP) of the Australian government after the approval of ASP’s proposal for putting up a community center for therapy and intervention programs for their scholars. ASP coordinated with the local government unit of Los Baños in the refurbishment of the old Department old Social Welfare and Development and Sangguniang Bayan offices to be used as a community center.
LBCC-TISS will provide services such as medical and occupational therapy and other medical intervention for children with disabilities such as cerebral palsy, down syndrome, multiple disabilities especially those diagnosed with autism, and the like. This not only serves as an intervention center, but also as a training ground for parents of these children to help them be their child’s own teachers at home.
According to Ma. Ana Del Valle of ASP, the center will serve as the hub and therapy center for family members and children dealing with disabilities. The LBCC-TISS is the fifth center built by ASP in Laguna. Other centers are located in includes the Paete, Liliw, and Calamba.
Before the LBCC-TISS was established, the programs conducted by ASP, such as the Sensory Motor Activities (SMA) for children ages 6-12 every Saturday, were held at the Los Baños Central Elementary School covered court. On the other hand, ASP’s early stimulation programs for children with ages five and below were formerly conducted in the play area of the Municipal Health Office. With the opening of the LBCC-TISS, the ASP activities can now be held in the LBTC-TISS, which is tailored to address their scholars’ needs.