In line with the recent scientific developments and international best practices in providing comprehensive and integrated care for children with autism, the Assessment and Early Intervention Clinic at the Dubai Autism Center announced the provision of 25 internationally accredited assessment and screening tools, that would include psychology, speech and communication, special education, and occupational therapy standards.
Sara Ahmad Baker, head of community service department at the Dubai Autism Center, said: “The importance of the Assessment and Intervention Clinic in Dubai Autism Center is not only to provide an early accurate diagnosis to a large segment of children with symptoms that are suspected of having autism spectrum disorder; it also to develop individual educational and therapeutic plans to help those children improve their abilities with an aim to integrating them into mainstream schools,”
This announcement came as a result of the awareness campaign of early detection of autism organised by the Community Service Department at the Dubai Autism Center in the beginning of this year in order to educate teachers and supervisors of kindergartens and first grade’ students.
“The seven-month campaign targeted all kindergarten and first grade teachers in 64 educational institutions in the Emirate of Dubai and the Northern Emirates, during which two to four workshops were organised each week,” Baker said.
Baker stressed that the reason for targeting kindergartens is the importance of early detection and intervention in dealing with cases of autism, as this has a positive impact on the speed of developing the necessary plans that focus on the individual needs of each case.
The Dubai Autism Centre (DAC) is a non-profit organizsation providing information, support, advice and training to professionals and parents of children with Autism. Founded in November 2001 with the issuance of a decree from H.H. Sheikh Maktoum Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the DAC is focused on providing various services for children with Autism and their families. The Centre also works toward facilitating a better community understanding of autism, including early diagnosis and treatment methodology.
Autism is a complex neurobiological disorder that lasts throughout a person’s life; it affects the person’s verbal and non-verbal communications as well as imaginative play and social skills. ASD transcends social, cultural and geographic boundaries. According to recent studies, 1 out of every 59 children is affected by ASD.