Nation Observes 14th Autism Consciousness Week

February 26, 2010

The National Council on Disability Affairs (NCDA) with the Department of Social Welfare and Development, Department of Education and other government organizations, Shoe Mart (SM) Committee on Disability Affairs, SM Super Malls and Autism Society Philippines, Autism Hearts Foundation, and other NGOs on autism will undertake various activities during the national observance of the “14th Autism Consciousness Week” on January 17-24 pursuant to Presidential Proclamation 711 issued on January 4, 1996.

The weeklong celebration include, among others, Angels Walk for Autism in SM Mall of Asia, 1st Regional Conference in De La Salle, Dasmarinas, Cavite, Colors of Autism Exhibit in Atrium, Block, SM North, Discussion on Autism in Local Government Units (LGUs) during flag ceremonies, Developmental Assessment and Family Support Group Meeting in Laguna, and Sensory Friendship Games in SM Baguio.

Other activities include an International Autism Conference on February 3-5, 2010, in the Philippine International Conference Center, Manila. Organized by the Autism Hearts Foundation, interested parties may attend and inquire on the registration details at 632-819-3724 and 632-818-9926 or visit www.iacphil.com or email info@iacphil.com.

These awareness raising activities emphasize the governments’ efforts and commitment to promote the rights of children with autism under the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and the Magna Carta for Persons with Disabilities..

Autism is a lifelong developmental disability that affects how an individual interprets what he sees, hears, and touches, thereby impairing his understanding and use of language and his adaptation to his environment. It is treatable, if the child is diagnosed and receives early intervention in life. With special education and therapy, most children with autism, can be trained to be self-reliant and productive members of society.

Statistics show that in the Philippines at least 600,000 families are estimated to be affected with autism. Likewise, there was a recent report from the Center for Disease Control of the United States that one (1) out of 110 individuals is affected of some forms of autism. It is also the fastest rising developmental disability that will be diagnosed more than diabetes, cancer and AIDS combined in the coming years.

Your support to all of these activities will make children with autism go beyond their boundaries especially if you will have government identified those children with autism in your community and have them reported to us for appropriate intervention. Early detection of this disability will make a difference in the lives of these children because research shows that autism can be treated at early intervention.

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