September 14, 2019
SEN. Maria Lourdes Nancy Binay has filed a bill providing for the identification, assessment and education of children with Autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
Senate Bill 965, or the proposed “Autism Spectrum Disorder Management Act,” aims to help children with ASD handle and cope with its detrimental effects.
ASD is a complex neurobehavioral condition that includes impairments in social interaction, developmental language and communication skills, combined with rigid and repetitive behaviors. It ranges in severity from a handicap that limits a normal life to an overwhelming disability that requires institutional care.
The symptoms of ASD among children typically appear during the first three years of their lives.
According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder, a guide created by the American Psychiatric Association, used to diagnose people with ASD as having difficulty in communicating and interacting with other people. They also demonstrate restricted interests and repetitive behavior, and show symptoms that hurt a person’s ability to function properly in school, work and other areas of life.
The different types and severity of ASD include Autistic disorder, Asperger’s syndrome, pervasive development disorder not otherwise specified, Rett syndrome and child disintegrative disorder.
Under the bill, the Special Needs Identification and Education Program shall involve the special needs identification and education training for selected public school teachers.
The secretary of Education shall appoint an autism ombudsman to develop best practice guidelines for the educational assessment and interventions for differently-abled children from three years of age. Regional professional development centers must also have an autism specialist available.
The Department of Health and the Department of Education (DepEd) shall jointly prepare and submit to Congress for its review and consideration of a 10-year strategic plan within one year after the effectivity of the Act to address the growing number of persons who need services for Autism spectrum disorder.
The amount of P50 million shall be appropriated for the programs established under this act. This shall be included in the annual budget of the DepEd.
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