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In celebration of the 21st Autism Consciousness Week, the Philippine Consulate General in San Francisco commemorated National Autism Consciousness Week following the flag raising ceremony at the Kalayaan Hall of the Philippine Center on Monday, 23 January 2017.

The Oath “1 Pangako” was projected on the video wall housed in the Philippine Center’s Main Lobby.  Officers and staff of the Philippine Consulate, its partner agencies, as well as Philippine Center tenants, and the Filipino-American Community took part in the oath to raise awareness about autism.

Autism statistics from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) identify around 1 in 68 American children as on the autism spectrum – a ten-fold increase in prevalence in 40 years. Studies also show that autism is four to five times more common among boys than girls. An estimated 1 out of 42 boys and 1 in 189 girls are diagnosed with autism in the United States.

ASD affects over 3 million individuals in the U.S. and tens of millions worldwide. Moreover, government autism statistics suggest that prevalence rates have increased 10 to 17 percent annually in recent years. In the Philippines, estimated cases of autism rose from 500,000 in 2008 to one million in 2014.  The commemoration was held to bring more awareness about autism, especially in the Philippines, and continue the conversation that would lead families to seek support for family members with ASD. END