In the U.S. alone, one in every 150 children has been found to have ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder). In the Philippines, it is estimated that 500,000 people have autism, but the sad reality is that only 5% of them are diagnosed and only 2% receive the necessary medical attention. There is an evident "lack of consistent support services and communities," as well as "self-sustatining programs" to help take care of children with autism. With this in mind, local autism advocates collaborated in order to help come up with Philippine-based resources to help children with autism and their families. "Hope for Better Life and Brighter Future," name of the IAC (International Autism Conference), will be held from Febuary 3-5, 2010, at the PICC (Philippine International Convention Center), will be gathering medical experts from all over the globe, foreign dignitaries and advocacy groups concerned with ASD, as the number of diagnosed children rises to nearly epidemic proportions. “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 Autism Institute of Asia, a locally-based ‘one-stop-shop’ for children with ASD, the New York-based autism advocacy group ‘Autism Speaks,’ and the 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. Presenters in the conference include the Medical Investigation of Neurodevelopmental Disorders (MIND), an international, multidisciplinary research organization based in Sacramento, California. “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 in society,” added Roa.
Autism Hearts Philippines is the local affiliate of Autism Hearts Foundation, a U.S.-based private group that funds organizations that provide direct services, family, support grants, education, research, treatment, advocacy and recreational opportunities, sees the urgent needs to reach out to international communities to promote awareness about and gather support for autism. Join the International Autism Conference at the Philippine International Conference Center on February 3-5, 2010. Please visit www.autismhearts.com for more information on the International Autism Conference.