[SENIA Youth] Andrea’s Dream: The Story of a Successful Graduate with ADHD

Andrea Zubiri, AB Photography Graduate

Andrea Zubiri, AB Photography Graduate De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde

The SENIA Manila Youth Chapter aims to advocate and inspire teachers and the community about the gifts and abilities of students with special education needs.

Andrea Zubiri, one of the first members of SENIA Manila Youth Chapter, shared her dream for Philippine higher education.

“I will not be where I am today without God’s love and his grace. My name is Andrea Zubiri and I am a photography graduate from De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde. I graduated last March 2016 and I am heading off to New York for further studies this May. I am going to New York not just for studies but also to live there for a while. After graduating, I had a few freelance job opportunities which have been fun and exciting. I hope to continue photography as my main career.

My advocacy, along with my fellow SENIA Youth members, friends and educators, is for students with learning disabilities to have better access to higher education. I hope that one day colleges in the Philippines would be able to practice support for students who need it the most. This way, we can teach students how to be self-advocates and how to find success while they are studying and after they graduate. Support class in high school has helped me through my college journey and it still helps me in my everyday life. In high school, I was taught how to be a self-advocate and ask for extensions and tell the professor about my ADHD. I also asked them how I can do better in class. This skill has helped me get better grades and pass. Continue reading

[News] First SENIA Student Award Winner Andrea Zubiri featured on ABS-CBN ‘Bandila”

Andrea Zubiri, the first SENIA Student Award winner in 2012, inspires once again as her story is featured on ABS-CBN’s news program ‘Bandila’. Aired on March 3, 2016, the feature entitled “How inclusive education helps students with special needs” tells the story of Andrea and her achievement as a new graduate of AB Photography from De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde. SENIA board member was also interviewed as the Director of her school’s Center for Inclusive Education.

Watch the video here:


[News] SENIA Youth inspires at SENIA 2016 Kuala Lumpur

IMG_0125We would like to congratulate the members of SENIA Manila Youth Chapter for their outstanding work during the SENIA Conference at International School of Kuala Lumpur last February 26, 2016. The SENIA Youth conducted an informative, honest, heartfelt, and inspiring workshop for a room full teachers and parents entitled, “Empower Students to Be Advocates for their Peers.”
All youth group members represented their schools and SENIA Manila well, as they worked hard to collaboratively put together and execute an excellent workshop. They have inspired teachers from different parts of Asia to start their own youth groups! Representing SENIA Manila and their schools were the following individuals:
  • Tux Miguel, iAcademy
  • Carlos Rivera, De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde
  • Jessica Malca, One World School
  • Abel Saugeron, International School Manila
  • Tess Epperson,International School Manila
  • Sofia Eduque,International School Manila
  • Grace Loedin, Brent International School
  • Eli Owens, Brent International School
  • Casey Stevenson, Brent International School
Thank you to all the parents, guidance counselors, and administrators for their continued support for SENIA Manila’s Youth Group! 

[PD] Unleashing My Genius Workshop by Dr. L. Michael Hall

Unleashing My Genius - Overcoming Barriers FULL

Fifth Annual SENIA Manila Conference set for January 23, 2016!

The 5th Annual SENIA Manila Conference is set for January 23, 2016 at the International School Manila (ISM).

Registration to SENIA Manila is open up to 150 participants from the Friends of SENIA schools. Please coordinate with your school representatives for registration. Continue reading

International SENIA 2016 Conference open for registration

The 13th annual SENIA 2016 Conference will be held in the International School of Kuala Lumpur Melawati Campus. The pre-conference will take place on Thursday, 25 February, with the conference proper on Friday, 26 February and Saturday, 27 February.
For this year, there will be three strands:
  • Assessment with Diverse Populations
  • Social Emotional Well-Being of Students
  • Executive Functioning
Keynote speakers have been prepared for the three main strands. Dr. Samuel Ortiz will be the keynote speaker for assessment with diverse populations. Julia Cook will be speaking about social emotional well-being of students and  Dr. Peg Dawson is our keynote speaker for executive functioning strand.
Registration is now open. Please visit the official SENIA 2016 website.

Fourth Annual SENIA Manila Conference a Success!

The 4th Annual Special Education Network in Asia (SENIA) Manila Conference was a success! Hosted by Brent International School Manila last April 25, 2015, the 4th Annual SENIA Manila Conference offered 2 plenary sessions and 9 workshops for over 120 participants. Plenary sessions involved topics such as “The Impact of Anxiety on Student’s Learning and Behavior” presented by Dr. Ann Helmus and “Social Cognition: The iLAUGH Model” presented by Jenny de Guzman and Lea Infante.

Workshops presenters from various friends of SENIA schools made the conference rich with learning opportunities. There were sessions on co-teaching, IB accommodations, executive functioning, five love languages, mindfulness, restorative discipline and management strategies.

The conference closed with a touching session led by the SENIA Youth members. Through an experiential activity, the SENIA Youth allowed participants to experience what it is like to have learning challenges.

The SENIA Board would like to thank Ms. Priscilla Leighton and Ms. Patti Valley of Brent International School Manila for organizing this year’s conference. Heartfelt thanks also goes out to the speakers who shared their expertise at no cost. Specifically, we thank Dr. Ann Helmus, Jenny De Guzman, Shelly Maldonado, Stella Alcantara, Melissa Mendoza, Ericson Perez, Derek Pierce, Marisol Maranan, Lea Infante, Hanna Naing, Karl Mejia, Rizzy Javier, Leanne Martinez, Catherine Deen and Priscilla Leighton.

Relive SENIA 2015 through these wonderful photos taken during the sessions.


SENIA 2015 Conference Open for Registration!

Every three years, the Special Education Network in Asia (SENIA) holds a joint conference with the East Asia Regional Council of Schools (EARCOS).

We are glad to announce that registration for the EARCOS Teacher’s Conference (ETC 2015) is now open!  The conference will be held in Sutera Harbour, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah Malaysia on March 26 to 28, 2015.

Interested SENIA members may register and pay the same rate as EARCOS members (USD290) until January 23, 2015. The rate will increase to USD310 after January 23, 2015. Changing delegates is acceptable but there will be a USD75 charge after January 23.

For SENIA members, please use this special SENIA REGISTRATION LINK to register. The registration details is found below:

School: SENIA
Username: senia2015
Password: senia2015

The conference organizers have prepared an excellent program including notable keynote speakers, teacher workshops and special presenters. Confirmed keynote speakers include Anne Sibley O’Brien (Literacy), James Stronge (Assessment) and John Wood (Literacy). There are also pre-conference presentations on Early Childhood Education, ESL, Special Education, Special Needs, Language and Literacy, Counseling,  and Technology among many. For more specific information about the keynote speakers, preconferences and workshops, please visit the official EARCOS Teacher’s Conference 2015 website.

Content adapted from official SENIA Website


[News] All set for SENIA Manila 2014!

The 3rd Annual SENIA Manila conference will be held at Beacon School on March 22, 2014. The conference will be full of exciting events including two plenary seminars, workshops and time for communities of practice sharing. The honorary SENIA Student Awards will also be given to winners from the Philippines. For the full program and workshop details, click here.

In preparation for the 3rd Annual SENIA Manila conference, SENIA Manila members were given an opportunity to sign-up for workshops and lunch in advance through Sign-Up genius. Handouts from the various presentations will be made available after the conference is over.

SENIA would like to thank Beacon School and Ms. Yvette Crisostomo for organizing this year’s conference. See you on March 22, 2014.

Don’t forget to share your memories by posting your photos using the official hashtag #SENIAManila2014!

[News] SENIA Manila Youth Chapter Completes Advocacy Video

The SENIA Manila Youth Chapter completed their first advocacy project as a group. With their video entitled “Are We Really That Different?”, the SENIA Manila Youth continues to advocate for special needs in a touching way. Check out their video and feature below. The feature is written from the perspective of the SENIA Youth.

Are We Really That Different?

Do people have the right to judge us for who we are and what makes us special?

‘SENIA: Are we really that different?’ is a video about us,  international students who have learning challenges, and handle them in different ways. Each stride we take, we are faced with new obstacles where our learning challenges prevent us from conquering but we still persevere!

The video is our, Manila Youth Chapter’s, way of spreading awareness about the kinds of challenges we students have. No matter the challenge, we cope with them in our own way and in our own time.

This video has two sides–what we struggle with and how we excel in our hobbies and activities. We want to show that even though we are different, we aren’t. We have learning differences that make us special and unique. However, we are human just like you.

Learning challenges are not rare to society and by just accepting that not everyone thinks alike, we become a more accepting mankind. Our goal is to help the educators and the education sector in the Philippines to be more aware of our challenges. Learning support programs needs to be better developed and spread throughout the Philippines. If kids, at a young age, get the support they need, it will give them a brighter future.