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I am Autism: The truth about Autism

April 2 was designated as the “World Autism Awareness Day” by the United Nations General Assembly to recognize and understand people with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

To share insights about this disorder, Providence Hospital conducted a forum entitled “I am Autism: The truth about Autism” which was delivered by our Neurodevelopmental Pediatrician-Dr. Joan Hazel Jandoc-Ramos.


In her talk, she discussed the increasing number of persons with this condition, the signs and symptoms as well as the available diagnostic modalities and treatment. Interventions were likewise shared by our occupational therapists Ms. Christine Ocampo and Ms.Angelica Portugal.

The following were the highlights of the discussion.

  • Autism is a neurobehavioral disorder characterized by social and communication impairments along with restricted and repetitive behaviours.
  • Current Prevalence is 1:59 children with Male:Female ratio of 4:1 (ADDMS, 2018)
  • Some Signs and Symptoms to look for:
    • Social Communication deficits
      • Poor eye contact or avoidance of gaze
      • For younger children, they may have language delay and inability to use gestures such as pointing to indicate their needs
      • Prefers being alone
      • Does not seem to respond or turn when his name is called
      • Inability to sustain conversations
      • Speech either has an unusual tone or is rhythmic (singsong pattern)
      • Lacks appropriate facial expressions
  • Repetitive/Restrictive/Stereotype behaviors
    • Displays odd movements such as walking on toes or has a stiff posture
    • Adheres to routines and has difficulty handling changes
    • Engages in repetitive behaviors such as body rocking, hand flapping or tapping, spinning of objects or sometimes with self-injurious behaviors like head banging
    • Plays toys in an odd manner. They may line them up or stack them.
    • Unusual reactions to sound, smell or taste. They may react negatively to particular sounds, smell or taste.
  • Diagnosis
    • Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule 2 (ADOS-2) which is available in the hospital is the most widely used evaluation tool to accurately diagnose Autism Spectrum Disorder across age, developmental level and language skills.

Some children with ASD will require assistance throughout their lives, while others are able to function on their own with minimum to no assistance from others. Some may even cope with complex educational demands.

Although Autism cannot be cured, early intervention plays a key role in improving the quality of life of children and adults with Autism.

For more details about the available diagnostic evaluation, please call the Out-Patient Clinic of Providence Hospital at 558-6999 ext. 623, 625, 629. For interventions, kindly call the Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine of Providence Hospital at 558-6999 ext. 631.

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For emergency cases        +(02) 8-558-6999 (Ext.) 123