Tag Archives: adults with autism

Help build “A Special Place”

18 Jan

Vico Cham on the Manila Bulletin

16 Jan

AAAP’s resident artist, Victor Francesco “Vico” Cham, is no stranger to media attention. He has held a one-man show for his artwork, bested “normal” kids in art competitions and garnered TV and print coverage for his unique talent.

Proudly autistic
By Angelo G. Garcia
13 December 2010

MANILA, Philippines — In 1999, then eight-year-old Victor Francesco “Vico” Cham was playing in the office of his parents who are both architects.  The office was filled with art materials that Vico could play with. He grabbed a blueprint, some poster paints and a brush, sat on the floor and started to paint his favorite cartoon show on the back of the blueprint.

“I was in the shower and I did not know that he was in the office. When I asked what he was painting, he replied ‘Blues Clues, mommy.’ So if you observe the painting, there’s a house, there’s the garden. Immediately, after he finished his painting, I had it framed. That’s the time I realized that my son could be an artist,” recalls mommy Cathy Cham.  It would have been a mother’s ordinary discovery. Only, Vico has autism and the fact that he could produce beautiful artworks brought immeasurable joy, and hope, to his mom.

Now at 19 years old, Vico is the pride of his parents, and the Autism Society Philippines (ASP). He is now known for his artworks, which were even featured in a television show. Earlier this year, he had even held his first one-man exhibit at SM Marikina, featuring more than 50 of his digital and hand-drawn artworks.

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The Cham’s on “The Heart of the Matter”

12 Jan

Victor, Cathy and their two boys took center-stage in this video produced by the Family and Life Update, a pro-life site dedicated to the many issues families are facing today.

Victor and Cathy share their experience of autism. How they discovered that their second son, Vico, was different from other kids; how they struggled and accepted his condition; and, how they work together – as a family – to inspire other families also dealing with autism.  We also get to speak with Vico himself, and his older brother Carlo about their relationship as brothers, and how their family moves forward in spite of everything. Join us as we get to the heart of the matter.

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)

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