THE Autism Society Philippines recently celebrated the Autism National Consciousness Week. The Autism Society Philippines Bacolod Chapter organized various activities to educate others about autism.

They organized Angels Walk – a walk for autism awareness in SM Bacolod – where parents, teachers, guardians and children joined the walk from SM Bacolod South to SM Bacolod North. A program was held. They also talked about autism in one of the popular TV shows in Bacolod.

According to medmd.com, autism is a complex neurobehavioral condition that includes impairments in social interaction and developmental language and communication skills combined with rigid, repetitive behaviors. Because of the range of symptoms, this condition is now called autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

Dr. Mark Anthony Talatala, behavioral and developmental pediatrician, said “there is still no data on the incidence of ASD in Negros Occidental.” However, there are few cases in our Province.

Families with children diagnosed with ASD or one who shows signs of having ASZ, sometimes find it hard to handle this situation. It is understandable. There could denial but we cannot change the condition but there is something to be done. Acceptance is the key for peace of mind.

According to the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, here are some signs to watch for:

• Problems with eye contact

• No response to his or her name

• Problems following another person's gaze or pointed finger to an object (or "joint attention")

• Poor skills in pretend play and imitation

• Problems with nonverbal communication

It usually starts showing by the age of 12 months to 18 months or even earlier. Early detection and diagnosed early would get a better outcome.

Going to a pediatrician, is the best place to start. The doctor can confirm whether your child has ASD or maybe something else. He will be able to give options and choices.

If you want to join Autism Society Bacolod Chapter to raise awareness or get support, please contact Wendy at 09234051597.