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Fair raises awareness about early treatment for autism

TAIPEI--Hundreds of people gathered Saturday to promote early treatment for autistic children at the first of a series of charity events that aims to offer support to people suffering from the disorder.

The fair, which was held at the National Dr. Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall and included games and other interactive activities, drew participants from all walks of life, including sufferers of autism and their family members, as well as those concerned about autism issues.

“I think the fair allows the general public to learn more about autism instead of classifying the issue as a taboo,” said Ariel Huang, a special education teacher, who joined the event with her husband and young son.

Issac Liu, CEO of the Foundation for Autistic Children and Adults in Taiwan, the organizer of the fair, said he hoped the fair could raise awareness about the importance of early intervention treatment for autism, which usually develops during infancy or childhood.

Awareness about autism has become increasingly important because there were 11,712 autistic patients in Taiwan as of June 2012, an annual increase of 9.38 percent, according to government data.

The fair helped raise around NT$400,000 (US$13,700), Liu said, adding that there will be two more charity events in December.

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