Foundation to open facility for children with autism

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 21 January) — A non-profit organization will open next month a pediatric massage therapy center for children with autism at the Metro Davao Medical and Research Center, the first-of-its-kind in the country.

Melvia J. Malubay, a certified massage therapist and member of the Davao Autism and Parents Mobilization, said notable changes in behavior have been recorded among children with autism who undergo this intervention.

“They need to have a massage .. it has a calming effect on them who usually throw tantrums at anytime,” said Malubay, who is trained by Liddle Kidz Foundation in the United States.

Pediatric massage therapy sessions will be held on Friday, January 22, with at least 100 mothers and children with autism, a day after the Parents’ Forum.

These events are among the highlights of the National Autism Consciousness Week celebration that started with an Angels’ Walk on Sunday at the SM City

Febe Lybia Mathews, mother of an autistic child and president of the Davao Autism and Parents Mobilization, said the two-day events are intended to empower the parents on the proper care of children with autism.

Malubay said for children, “the simplest way of communication can be done through touching which can be very calming.”

She added that this massage has been used in the United States for 50 years.

The website of Autism Society says there is “no known single cause for autism spectrum disorder” but researches are “investigating a number of theories, including the links among heredity, genetics and medical problems.”

The Liddle Kids Foundation provides nurturing touch to growing children, touch therapy to children with special health needs and for those who have been diagnosed with cancer.

Its founder, Tina Allen, a massage therapy expert, will grace the event on Friday, which includes nurturing touch therapy, pediatric massage, and massage therapy session.

“For the last two days, the team has visited and served the orthopedic pediatric patients at the Tebow Cure Hospital, pediatric cancer patients at the House of Hope in SPMC (Southern Philippines Medical Center),” Malubay said.

She added that this a global cause as the Liddle Kidz Foundation brings a group of healthcare professionals from Australia, Canada, Japan, US, and Philippines “to provide nurturing touch therapy and pediatric massage to children and professional education to their caregivers in pediatric hospitals, children’s healthcare facilities and orphanges around the world.” (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)