Around the world, the number of children identified with ASD has nearly reached epidemic proportions. In United States, the rate is now one in every 91 children and still rising, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In the Philippines, it is estimated that about 500,000 people in the country have autism, with only 5%of them diagnosed and only 2% of them given appropriate care.
Autism Hearts Philippines will lead global efforts in the prevention and treatment of autism early next year by hosting the first-ever International Autism Conference (IAC) in Pasay City.
Medical experts around the world, as well as foreign dignitaries and advocacy groups dedicated to helping families and children afflicted with ASD are all invited to participate in the meaningful event slated on February 3-5 at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC).
“Concerned individuals including health practitioners and teachers from all over the world will find their participation greatly beneficial as the conference will also highlight the launching of Autism Institute of Asia, a locally based “one-stop-shop” for children with ASD and the New York-based autism advocacy group Autism Speaks’ Global Autism Public Health Initiative in the Philippines (GAPH), which is dedicated to service delivery and research collaboration on Autism,” said Christine Roa, executive director of Autism Hearts Philippines, Inc.
The conference will present the most current research, knowledge, information, diagnosis, assessment, treatments and policies surrounding Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in support of people under the spectrum and their families.
Among the presenters are leading experts from the Medical Investigation of Neurodevelopmental Disorders (MIND), an international, multidisciplinary research organization based in Sacramento, California.
Roa said that through this initiative, the Philippines would also have the opportunity to tell the world about the initiatives being undertaken by both the government and the private sector. It would also help highlight the close-knit family values that Fiipinos espouse.
“The conference would most importantly reinforce the thought that all of us, wherever we are in the world, can do our share in helping individuals with autism optimize their full potential and become productive members of the society,” added Roa.
Autism Hearts Philippines is the local affiliate of Autism Hearts Foundation, a US-based private group that funds organizations that provide direct services, family, support grants, education, research, treatment, advocacy, and recreational opportunities, sees the urgent need to reach out to international communities to promote awareness about and gather support for Autism.
Join the International Autism Conference at the Philippine International Convention Center on February 3-5, 2010. Please visit www.autismhearts.com for more information on the International Autism Conference.