A senator has replied to my call about including Autism Welfare in their platform I was happy that he read my post and he asked: What can the government do to enable parents and child with autism (CWAs)?
This is my reply (if someone out there got something more to add please do so by adding your comments at the comments section, Thank you)
Thank you for that question. I am grateful for your interest and I sincerely hope that this is not just part of a campaign. I hope you can do something permanent and concrete.
These are my perspective as a a parent of a CWA (child with autism) that will greatly help us.
1) The government should provide more access to affordable assessment/diagnosis from neurodevelopmental doctors. Usually an assessment will cost about P3,000 – P8,000. Not everyone can afford that amount and so most will not be diagnosed and the child and the parent will both suffer from this lifelong disability.
2) The government should provide more access to free trainings and seminars for parents with CWA that are usually done by non-profit organizations and CWA schools. Usually a half-day seminar cost around P500- P1,500 not everyone can afford that. These seminars are very helpful for parents and their caregivers, it eases the confusion of parents and gives caregivers confidence taking care of CWAs.
3) The government should provide more access to affordable special education schools and therapy centers. A tutorial class one-on-one cost about P44,800 and that is three times a week and just an hour per session. A regular class cost about P66,000 – P150,000. Therapy session, they need at least three kinds of these: occupational therapy, speech and language therapy, physical therapy and they cost about P360-P1,000 an hour!
4) The government should provide more access to safe and secure place for the CWA to play and for adolescent/adults PWA who can work independently with minimum supervision a place for them to work and practice their independence without discrimination.
5) For families who can not afford the government should provide centers that offers free therapy and special education and not the one currently provided by the government in public schools because they blend them with other types of disability. CWAs can be independent and can actually break free from their autism if they receive proper education and early intervention.
6) And possibly for single parents like me with a CWA some work at home program that will help them be financially independent to provide for other needs. Taking care of a CWA is not an easy job, although we can get caregivers or therapist to assist us they come and go. Most are forced to leave work so they can supervise the programs for their CWAs.