Beyond Fun: Therapeutic arts and play for children with special needs

The Head On Talks Series promotes a culture of understanding, acceptance, and responsibility for mental health. This August, we’re putting focus on neurodevelopmental health and therapeutic interventions for children with special needs.

Play is the primary occupation of a child. Through play, children learn new concepts, widen their vocabulary, develop social skills and interact with the world around them—all while having fun. In a similar fashion, the arts playfully engage the child’s senses as well as imagination. Utilizing these two recreations, play and art-making, strengths-based therapies emerge for children with special needs.

Bringing together voices from the fields of occupational therapy, special education, and expressive arts, this event will tackle the importance of play and the arts in child development. It will give insight on how both can be used to engage children with special needs at home, in school, or within a therapeutic setting. The arts will also be highlighted as a tool in advocating for social equity and inclusion.

Learning objectives

  • To identify core concepts of play and the arts that facilitate learning and development in children
  • To come up with playful and/or artful activities to engage children with special needs in order to aid professional practice or parenting
  • To understand how the arts is utilized in the advocacy for social equity, diversity, and inclusion

Event details

Saturday, August 31, 2019

1:00 PM – 4:00 PM

111 Cordillera Street, Ayala Alabang Village, Muntinlupa City

Registration Fee

Php 500



About the speakers

Gelai Castillo, OTRP, is a licensed occupational therapist. She obtained her degree in the University of Santo Tomas. Her practice is focused on the pediatric early intervention setting, seeing clients in one-on-one and group therapy sessions. She is a certified pediatric massage therapy practitioner as trained by Tina Allen, the founder of The Liddle Kidz Foundation and obtained her certification on Developmental Play from CreateCatt as trained by its founder, Caroline Essame.

Amos Manlangit, MAed, is an artist and educator who completed both his Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts and Master’s Degree in Special Education at the University of the Philippines. He currently teaches in the College of Fine Arts at the same university. Amos advocates the use of arts and creativity in helping individuals maximize their expression and communication, enhance creativity, manage stress and nurture their well-being. He facilitates creative workshops for companies, advocacy groups and to children and adults with different abilities such as giftedness, autism, ADHD, intellectual disability among others.

Blenda Lopez Dela Cruz has had almost two consecutive decades of teaching and training in Early Childhood Education and Special Education, and is currently finishing her thesis in Masters in Education in SPED. She was the Preschool Head of The Learning Child from 2015 to 2018, and previously the owner and directress of a child development center catering to the educational and developmental needs of children from 6 months to 6 years old. Blenda believes in the education setting being a platform to uplift children individually and together with their families.

Joining the panel discussion

Joey Atayde, M.S., R-DMT is a Registered Dance/Movement Therapist with the American Dance Therapy Association. After practicing as a ballerina for 15 years, she pursued graduate studies at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York where she finished her Master of Science in dance/movement therapy. As a dance/movement therapist, Joey has worked with numerous individuals ranging from children to seniors. Her clinical practice includes children with autism and developmental delays, adults with various mental illnesses such as depression, schizophrenia, dementia, among others. She is currently the Expressive Arts Program Director of MAGIS where she is a practicing clinician doing therapy with children and adults, runs various support groups and an expressive arts summer camp, and designs and facilitates training programs for various organizations including the East Asian Pastoral Institute, and the Social Work Department of the University of Southern Philippines.

The Head On series of events is about creating community around mental health and psychoeducation. Aside from events like this, we also have the Head On Groups, which offer support and the accountability of a small community, for self-care.

Start your journey with Head On Groups


  1. Submit your registration through the means most convenient for you:
    1. Through our online registration form
    2. Message us via mobile: 0928 180 4510
      • this number is accessible through text message, iMessage, and Viber
      • Wait for a confirmation message from MAGIS HQ that your reservation is in place.
    3. Email us at :
      • Wait for a confirmation email from MAGIS HQ that your reservation is in place.
    4. Call our office: 850 4852 loc 220
      • Your name, email address, and mobile number will be requested, so that payment details can be sent for your reference.
  2. Proceed to payment via any of the following methods:
    1. Cash or Cheque at the MAGIS office (address at the bottom left of this page). If paid in person, final confirmation of secured slots is immediate upon payment.
    2. Bank deposit may be made to:

BPI Current Account
Account Name: MAGIS Creative Spaces, Inc.
Account Number: 8291-0114-12

  • If paid by bank deposit, a final confirmation of your secured slot/s will be sent by our team through email, within 1 working day after we are furnished a copy of the deposit slip at:



BY SUBMITTING YOUR INTENT TO REGISTER, you officially send your registration to the workshop specified above. THIS RESERVATION IS CONSIDERED FINAL, provided that slots are still available at your time of registration. An acknowledgement email stating that you have a reserved a slot on the workshop will be sent to you within 48 hours (2 business days), with full details of payment process (BPI online banking, bank deposit, or cash/cheque paid in person). Upon receipt of your acknowledgement email, we request that you accomplish the payment process within 3 working days. Proof of payment will confirm your slot for this workshop.