The Autism Society Philippines (ASP) and SM Supermalls gathered around 1,500 participants for the annual Angels Walk for Autism on Jan. 14 in line with the National Autism Consciousness Week.
The National Autism Consciousness Week is celebrated every third week of the month of January based on Proclamation No. 711, signed in 1996 by former President Fidel V. Ramos.
“Annually, we celebrate the Angels Walk as part of the activities of the Autism Society of the Philippines. This is a nationwide celebration so other chapters will be doing their activities as well,” said Uswaldo Parrenas, Davao chapter president.
Last year, there were more than 800 participants and, according to Parrenas, “every year the number of participants is increasing because of the awareness created through the campaigns we promulgated.”
This year’s activity centered on “Pagtuon: Tugon sa mga Pilipinong may K* dulot ng Autismo #kakayahan #kagalingan #kakanyahan #katalinuhan #kapansanan”.
According to Parrenas, they also reach out under-served communities by conducting lectures in the barangays as part of the awareness program. “This is so that we will be able to provide early interventions to PWAs (persons with autism) in the barangays,” said Parrenas.
Additionally, Imelda Rendon, Rainbow Intervention Center for Autism Foundation executive director, noted an increase in awareness on autism, especially since there are more younger enrollees recently.
The RICAFI currently caters to 45 students from age three years old up to 32 years.