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Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Dipolog celebrates 20th autism consciousness week
By Mary May A. Abellon

DIPOLOG CITY, Jan. 25 (PIA) – The city government here through its City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO) has joined the nation in a weeklong celebration of the 20th Autism Consciousness Week with a theme, “Onwards to an Austism- OK Philippines” starting Jan. 17-23.

The celebration started with a motorcade along the city main streets followed by an opening program at the school gymnasium of Dipolog Pilot Demonstration School (DPDS) and Special Education (SPED) with children from the SPED Center and the Center for Children with Special Needs of CSWDO as participants.

This weeklong activity primarily aims to intensify awareness on the rights of persons with autism in the country. It advocates for their integration into the mainstream of society geared towards their empowerment.

“The city government has provided medical services through free check-up to children with special needs,” Mayor Evelyn T. Uy said during the opening program.

The lady mayor stressed that these children are not different from other kids who needed love and care from their families, adding “autism is not a word to be feared but a child to be loved.”

Academic competition, family day, sporty angels, field trip, angel’s walk, autizumba and family outing also highlight the said celebration.

This observance was in pursuance of Proclamation No. 711 of 1996, declaring the third week of January as “Autism Consciousness Week (ACW),” with a purpose at promoting awareness and supportive environment among communities to enable autistic persons to live with dignity, function independently, and to contribute productively to society.