Amna Al Ketbi (Dubai)
Fayza Al-Muaini, director of the Umm Al Quwain Autism Center of the Ministry of Community Development, revealed that the number of students enrolled in the center is 80 students with autism disorder during the current academic year, as the center provides services for students with autism from 4 to 18 years old. It serves Umm Al Quwain, Ajman and Sharjah, and the center includes 28 administrative employees, support services specialists from language and speech therapy, occupational therapists, nurses, social workers, sports and music activities teachers, special education teachers and classroom assistant teachers in order to provide appropriate training and rehabilitation services for students according to the best standards. .
She said that the center’s vision aims to support and empower people with autism and their parents at all ages, by providing high quality diagnostic and assessment services, with clear educational paths according to individual educational plans that suit the needs of each student, and contribute to developing their abilities to raise the level of their quality of life and become Independent and active individuals in the community, and that the role of the center is not only limited to training and rehabilitation of students, but extends to include support and guidance of the family through building strong relationships with parents of students.
Al-Muaini said: The effective communication and participation of the family with the rehabilitation and care centers leads to the improvement and development of the student’s skills and behaviors due to the keenness and interest of parents to apply the training and strategies provided by specialists to their children at home, while the weak participation of parents and the lack of follow-up and communication with the center leads to a decline in the skills that It is learned and acquired by the student in the center, which limits the development of his performance. From this point of view, the center is keen to support, empower and educate the family through various activities and effective communication to strengthen relations with parents.
And she continued: The center also serves autistic people through a number of treatment rooms, including the Sensory Development Room, which aims to provide students with various stimuli, including kinesthetic, tactile, audio and visual, and aims to reduce students’ distraction, increase their focus and attention, develop their motor and cognitive skills, and reduce undesirable behaviors. The most desirable, which is the largest in the country, is equipped with multiple modern technologies, and is used for each case according to its health condition, in addition to the occupational therapy room, which works to rehabilitate students in various aspects.
The director of the Umm Al Quwain Autism Center indicated that the center includes a sensory garden, equipped with the latest devices and games of various kinds, according to the theory of sensory integration to be used in therapeutic ways as well as fun and entertainment, with the aim of developing students’ motor skills.
She also added that the “National Policy for People with Autism Disorder” enhances the provision of the best supportive and enabling services for people of determination and for people with autism in particular, by providing specific requirements and needs to enhance the best living reality and improve the quality of life for people of this category, noting that the policy comes in compliance with the vision of Leadership to empower people of determination, which is part of the efforts of the UAE government to support people of determination and society in general, with policies, initiatives and legislation that provide the best solutions for a future that matches the vision of the state at various levels.