The country will take part in the global celebration of the World Autism Awareness Day (WAAD) on April 2 with the theme “ Make the Right Real for Persons with Autism”.
Now on its 5th year, the Philippine government thru the National Council on Disability Affairs (NCDA) leads this annual event celebration in cooperation with other government agencies and non-government organizations and the civil society groups.
Special activities have been lined up to observe WAAD in the Philippines. This include the (1) “Forum on the Supportive of Environment of Persons with Autism” at the DENR Social Hall, Visayas, Quezon City; (2) “Art, Photo and Product Exhibits of Persons with Autism,” DENR Social Hall, Visayas, Quezon City; and (3) “Light It Up Blue” Ceremony of the SM Mall of Asia’s Iconic Globular Light Emitting Diode (LED) with messages and images for Autism awareness and as a support for the LIUB campaign of Autism Speaks of the USA which leads the global celebration of the WAAD.
The United Nations General Assembly thru Resolution 62/139 issued on December 18, 2007 declared April2 of every year starting in 2008 as World Autism Awareness Day (WAAD). The declaration invites UN Member States, relevant organizations, civil society, including non-governmental organizations and the private sector, to observe the World Autism Awareness Day (WAAD) in order to raise public awareness about autism throughout society. The celebration of the Day brings to the world’s attention to promote autism, a pervasive intellectual disorder that affects millions of the human population worldwide.
A global statistics on human population shows a high prevalence of autism with a ratio of 1:00, which means that in a population of 100 individuals, one (1) is affected with it. With this prevalence and high rate of autism in children in all regions of the world and consequent development challenges to long-term health care, education, training and intervention programs undertaken by Governments, non-governmental organizations and the private sector, as well as its tremendous impact on children, their families, communities and societies, such alarming condition, there is really a need to take measures to raise awareness on autism throughout the society and to encourage early diagnosis and early intervention.
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD), or simply “autism,” is a lifelong development disability that manifests itself during the first three years of life and results from neurological disorder that affects the functioning of the brain, mostly affecting children in many countries irrespective of gender, race of socio-economic status, and characterized by impairments in social interaction, problems with verbal and non-verbal communications and restricted, repetitive behavior, interests and activities.