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LOOK: Araneta Coliseum lights up blue to raise autism awareness

Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 04 2017 02:10 AM | Updated as of Apr 04 2017 02:29 AM

The Araneta business district commemorated World Autism Day on Monday with blue light in support of the autism awareness campaign. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

Children with autism perform at a special program to commemorate autism awareness day in the Philippines. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

Children with autism perform a number with the Kontragapi Plus to commemorate autism awareness day. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

A proud parent takes photos under blue light during the commemoration of World Autism Day. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

Children with autism perform during the World Autism Day in Cubao. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

Proud parents take pictures of their children as they conclude a performance to commemorate World Autism Day in the Philippines. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

A participant smiles as he plays a musical instrument during an awareness campaign about autism in the Philippines. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

Children are illuminated with blue light at the Araneta Coliseum during a performance to commemorate World Autism Day on Monday. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

Children are illuminated with blue light at the Araneta Coliseum during a performance to commemorate World Autism Day on Monday. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

Blue light floods the entrance to the Araneta Coliseum gate during a performance to commemorate World Autism Day in Cubao on Monday. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

Blue light floods the entrance to the Araneta Coliseum gate at the Cubao commercial complex on Monday. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

Araneta Coliseum's famous facade lit up blue on Monday in commemoration of World Autism Day. 

The event organizers invited children with autism to perform musical numbers in a program that raises awareness of the condition.

The number of people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in the Philippines and other countries worldwide has almost doubled in the past six years and the number is still rising, according to 2014 data from the Philippine Star.
 
Erlinda Borromeo, Autism Speaks Foundation president, said one in 68 children worldwide have autism. The number is way above the 0.5 cases in every 1,000 children in the 1980s and one in 110 children in 2008, the Philippine Star reported.

The Light Up Blue campaign helps raise awareness among parents and encourage early detection in autism management. 

Experts are pushing for early screening for autism and other developmental disorders for children as young as 18 months to four years. The initiative is one way of sending the message that the public must be aware of the condition and that there are support groups that are ready to support them if they have children who have autism.