SOURCE: Autism Partnership Foundation

Autism Partnership Foundation

April 02, 2016 07:49 ET

Secretary for Food and Health Supports World Autism Awareness Day

Urging the Public to "Release the Power and Warmth of Blue, Care for People With Austism"

HONG KONG, CHINA--(Marketwired - Apr 2, 2016) - The United Nations General Assembly unanimously declared 2 April as World Autism Awareness Day. Each year on the day, iconic buildings across the world turn their lights blue to promote autism awareness. In support of this global initiative, Autism Partnership Foundation (APF) asks people to dress blue on 2 April to generate public awareness about autism and raise fund to provide support and assistance to people with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). This year, APF had the honor to invite Dr Ko Wing-man, Secretary for Food and Health, to officiate at "Dress Blue Day 2016".

During the event, Dr Ko dressed blue to show his support. Together with a child with autism, he designed a blue T-shirt with a flower, a bright sun and a teddy bear for charity sales. To raise public awareness and show support for people with autism, he also joined other guests in shouting the slogan "Release the Power and Warmth of Blue, Care for People with Austism".

Dr Ko said he is aware of the serious problem of autism that in every 160 children, there is 1 autistic child in Hong Kong. While the Health Authority has served over 16,000 patients during the year of 2014/2015. In addition to providing related services, he expressed that the assessment progress for children should accelerate as well, of which an additional Child Assessment Centre will be set up according to the 2016 Policy Address, in order to fulfil the performance pledge of providing assessment and professional diagnosis within six months. He was also grateful that APF is providing Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) treatment which is adopted in other countries, unfortunately Hong Kong is short of resources at the moment. At last, Dr Ko called on everyone to increase awareness of autism, and acquire knowledges of autism through trainings.

Founder of APF hopes government budgets will cover research-based treatments for autism
Mr Toby Mountjoy, Founder and Chairman of APF thanked Dr Ko for officiating at "Dress Blue Day 2016" and said, "APFwas established to bring a better life for people with autism, as well as promoting events like this to increase people's awareness about autism we also provide a variety of services. I'm glad to see that government has been recently putting more budgets in supporting children with autism. And I hope such budgets will also cover research-based treatments like Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA).

APF launces a series of free supporting services for low-income families
To raise public awareness about autism, APF conducted a survey about "Stress Faced by Parents in Taking Care of Autistic Child" earlier this year. The survey found that "schooling, future and prospects of children" exerted tremendous pressure on parents, with 70% of the interviewees worring about whether their autistc children could live independently in future and over 60% frequently stressed about their "children's future employment". The survey also revealed that over 40% interviewees had the expense on their children's treatment accounting for 26%-50% of their monthly household income, while about one fourth had the expense on their children's treatment accounting for more than half of their monthly household income. In view of such heavy financial burden, APF has launced a series of free supporting services for low-income families with autistic children early this year, which include one-month intensive ABA treatment, parents' talks and training sessions and marriage and family treatment. APF is also organizing free talks for local schools to increase their understanding of autism.

Public welcomed to download free iPad app in April to help children with ASD learn in an interesting way
In support of World Autism Awareness Day, from now to 30 April, people are welcomed to download Receptive Label*, an iPad app for interactive learning, from Apple Store for free. This app is developed by two Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) experienced in teaching children with ASD and Attention Deficit Disorder . This program enables children with ASD or other learning difficulties to learn nouns in an interesting and interactive way with a tablet computer.

* The original price for downloading Receptive Labels is HK$78. Free download opened during Apr 2-30. Is only applicable to iPad.

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Dr Ko Wing-man joined guests in shouting the slogan to support people with Autism in a public event of Autism Partnership Foundation.
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About AP Foundation (APF)
Autism Partnership Foundation (APF), a registered charity body (qualified for the exemption from tax section 88 of the Inland Revenue) in Hong Kong, is committed to making a difference in the life of individuals with autism. Through various fundraising initiatives, APF aims to raise funds to generate public awareness and knowledge about autism. We will also advocate ABA treatment and intervention through community programs of education and research and provide support and help for children with ASD and their families in Asia. Find out more about APF, please see: www.apf.org.hk or Facebook/APFHongKong

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