Tag Archives: aaap

Help build “A Special Place”

18 Jan


Meet Lirio

10 Jan

Lirio Sobrevinas Covey is the founder and current president of AAAP and proud mother of Mikey, an adult with autism. She is currently a Professor in Clinical Psychology in Psychiatry with Columbia University Medical Center. She earned a doctorate in Psychology from the City University of New York , and completed a master’s degree in Psychology and post-doctoral training from Columbia University. She is a licensed psychologist for the state of New York State. Her clinical and research work focused on smokers who were both nicotine dependent and suffering from co-occurring depressive disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and alcohol and/or drug dependence. She co-authored a book that collected her experiences and those of other smoking cessation experts entitled “Helping the Hard-core Smoker: A Clinician’s Guide”, and has been the senior author or co-author on numerous peer-reviewed US and Europe-based scientific publications.

Lirio attended St. Theresa’s College in Quezon City and in Manila from grade school through college. In 1964, she graduated from STC with Summa Cum Laude honors and was named one of the Ten Outstanding Students of the Philippines. She recalls fondly her fellow awardees for that year who continue to live in the Philippines and remained good friends – Vicky Pineda Garchitorena, Sonia Malasarte Roco, Alberto Fenix, and the late Senator Raul Roco. After more than 50 years of studying and working in the United States, Lirio is returning with her family to live in Manila. When she is not ballroom dancing or renewing childhood and college friendships, she plans to devote her time in the Philippines to the development and nurturance of AAAP and the residents of A Special Place.

She penned “Living with Autism,” a personal story, which was published in the Philippine Daily Inquirer in June 2011.

AAAP on Malaya’s Business Insight

8 Jan

AAAP earned media coverage again this week with an editorial that appeared in Malaya’s Business Insight. We are thankful that the concept of a residential community for adults with autism is making it’s way into mainstream discussions.

Adults with Autism
by Dahli Aspillera
Published: 06 January 2012

THE Association for Adults with Autism, Philippines (AAAP) is undertaking a project to provide long-term care and assistance in a safe and secure residence for the autistic in a community independent from their families. They can grow amidst their peers to live a wholesome, productive and happy life in a natural environment. A fund-raising drive is being launched on February 20 for a need whose time has come, especially with Autism Week coming up this month. For details, email daughterswith.autism@gmail.com; adultautismphil@gmail.com, call Catherine Cham, 638-7976, cell 0917-500-7760

"A Special Place" -- let's build it!

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On-the-Spot Drawing with Vico Cham

6 Jan

Vico Cham’s attention to detail is apparent in his unique hand sketches.  He captures unique features of his subjects with a slight motion of his colored tools which are kept in immaculate order.  His first solo art exhibit, “Colors of Autism”, was held in 2010 at SM Marikina.

Meet Vico.

AAAP on “Healing Thresholds”

4 Jan

AAAP’s “A Special Place” was the topic of a recent article on “Healing Thresholds“. “Healing Thresholds” is a free website dedicated to healing the lives of families touched by autism. It provides comprehensive therapy fact sheets, daily updates of research and news, and a global directory of autism therapists.

Philippine Autism Group to Start Work on Residential Housing for Adults with Autism
Posted: Monday, December 26, 2011 – 13:12

Parents of young adults with autism in the Philippines are beginning to plan for their children’s future. The parents understand that not only will they not be around forever, but that their young adults should have the opportunity to lead independent lives. Lirio Covey got the ball rolling after an essay she wrote, “Living with Autism”, appeared in the local paper. The group, now called Association for Adults with Autism, Philippines (AAAP), is working on their first project – A Special Place – that will be residential group homes in a “farmstead model”, based on group homes in New York. Along with homes, there will be work opportunities weaving or growing vegetables. In addition, there will be recreation areas, a library, theatre, and basketball court. A Special Place will start with 3 homes for 18 adults.

The pioneers of AAAP dream of a place where our special loved ones can have fun, be productive and have a nurturing home, long after we are gone. (Photo by C. Villacorta)

Living with Autism

2 Jan

For most of the pioneer members of the AAAP based in the Philippines, this article, penned by Lirio Covey, our organization’s President and Executive Director, was the germ of it all. Since it first appeared in the Philippine Daily Inquirer in 25 June 2011, parents from all over the country echoed Lirio’s hopes to provide a loving residential community where our children with ASD can thrive long after we are gone.  This article was also reprinted in the Autism Society of the Philippines website.

When my firstborn was not quite four months old, his first nanny had delighted me with the comment, “You have a precocious son.” And so it was that Billy became a source of family pride with his growing social, physical and mental prowess.

So imagine what a shocking blow it was when several years later, Dr. Isabelle Rapin, a noted neurologist in New York, gently told me that our second son Mikey, then 3, had what she termed “a brain disorder” and would likely need supervision throughout his life.

This very general diagnosis followed an earlier labeling of my child that should have been unnerving, but was not at the time. Looking back, I was probably refusing to acknowledge the observation of family and friends, and the doctors’ eventual findings.

Mikey, then and now. (Photos contributed by L. Covey)

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A dream village for Filipino adults with autism

1 Jan

AAAP’s flagship project, “A Special Place”, takes center stage in this GMA special report; but it also features some of the amazing families that comprise our membership:  the passionate Erick Villacorte and Ulan, the energetic Cathy Cham and Vico, and our formidable President, Lirio Covey and Mikey.

A dream village for Filipino adults with autism
Camela G. Lapeña, GMA News November 10, 2011 2:17pm

We won’t be around forever. This reality is something most people take for granted, but for parents whose children are diagnosed with autism, it’s especially worrisome.

“As I grow older and became more aware of my mortality, it gives you a sense that life changes, your vulnerability… I started thinking, I’m getting older, the time will come when I will need care. I won’t be able to take care of my child with autism,” says Lirio Covey, whose son Mikey was diagnosed with a “brain disorder” when he was three years old. It was 1982, and little was known about Mikey’s condition then.

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