John Chua was not thinking of being branded as an “angel” for conducting a photography workshop for ASD kids. To him, it’s not a big feat but for an ASD parent, his insight to put it together is tantamount to angelic proportions.
He believes that learning becomes more focused and motivated when there is a good social connection between parent and child, as well as teacher and child, and a good photograph helps them remember good memories and build more good moments. With the help of a few sponsors and an army of volunteer photographers, he created a wonderful niche in providing more opportunities for the differently-abled to connect with those around them and the rest of the world.
As a successful advertising photographer, thinking of this creative concept was mere peanuts. Since he was a volunteer “zookeeper,” the Manila Zoo was a perfect place to keep the kids interested and at the same time safe.
ASP was very lucky to have found a feature on him on Philippine Daily Inquirer that wrote of his work with photographing blind children at Manila Zoo and ASD adult, named Ian.
Ian though was more than a subject for a good photo. After a a successful round of great pictures in the zoo with his mother. when Ian was allowed to try a camera. It was found that he had an eye for composition. His photo was featured on the front page of the Philippine Daily Inquirer. Up to this day, he is building his portfolio of insightful visages. Click here to see them on YouTube.
With the help of Canon Marketing, the Manila Zoo, and some volunteer photographers, the first round of the workshop was held last May 10 at the Manila Zoo. Close to a dozen ASD kids and adults came to give try their hand at photography. Parents were more excited as they hovered over their kids but before the morning ended, a lot of potential was evident. Parents were smiling from ear to ear and the kids were providing their input on how they can make their shots better.
The group was also treated to first-hand experience of feeding Mali, the elephant, and entering the hippo compound to get up close and personal. “Mali’s trunk is like a vaccum,” said 9 year old Henry. “Uncle John is my zookeeper uncle”
Another round of workshops will be held by Mr. Chua but parents will have to stay tuned to ASP’s ASaP news.