GOING BEYOND THE PERSONAL: PERCEPTIONS OF PARENTS OF INDIVIDUALS WITH AUTISM ABOUT EXPRESSIVE ARTS THERAPY
According to Enriquez (1994), the Father of Filipino Psychology, the need to contextualize psychology and its practice is of importance in order to genuinely meet the needs of the people it serves. Through the indigenized framework wrought from years of practice of expressive arts in the Philippines with the core value of “Kapwa” or a shared inner reality as a guiding principle, Being a collectivist people, Filipinos with disability find difficulty connecting to the web of relationships they have specifically the family. The study aimed to obtain the parent’s or the caregiver’s perceptions as to how the expressive arts have affected the person with autism and how it has also affected the dynamics of the family. The study found that other than creating motivation and a greater selfesteem in the student, it has also improved communication within the family. Expressive arts had created an avenue for understanding the family member with disability and create more empathy towards them. It has also brought about a sense of hopefulness in the family members regarding the future of these individuals. Thus, expressive arts had bridged the gap that the disability had created and has an integrative function for the individual, his/her family and the society.