The Dubai Autism Center announced the launch of the integrated free diagnosis initiative for children suspected of having autism, who are citizens of the country, in implementation of the directives of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai.
The initiative will benefit 100 children who are on the waiting lists, with the support of Emirates NBD, the exclusive sponsor of the initiative.
The value of the integrated diagnostic evaluation in the United Arab Emirates ranged between 5000 and 7000 dirhams.
The announcement of the launch of the new initiative came after a visit made by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, to the center, last Wednesday, during which he was briefed on the progress of work in it and the services and programs it provides.
He also listened to a brief explanation that included the presentation of the percentage of suspected cases of autism through the results of the reports on the initiative of free consultative sessions, which was launched last April, and there were 495 sessions, which included 90 children suspected of having autism.
The Chairman of the Center’s Board of Directors, Hisham Abdullah Al-Qasim, said that the initiative is of great importance, as it contributes to encouraging parents of children suspected of having autism to speed up diagnosis and early detection.
He noted the keenness of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum to achieve the objectives of the national policy to empower people of determination, in order to ensure the provision of a friendly and qualified environment for them, as they are an integral part of the sustainable development process.
The Director-General of the Center and a member of its board of directors, Muhammad Al-Emadi, explained that “the importance of detecting autism spectrum disorder at an early stage ensures that the child receives comprehensive reports that determine the degree of injury, and the specialized programs required for early intervention.”
He stressed that the time frame for detection and evaluation ranges between five and seven working days, according to the requirements of each case. On the first day, the child receives a counseling session with his guardian, supervised by a clinical psychologist. On the second and third days, a mental capacity assessment session is provided by a clinical psychologist, and a behavior assessment session is provided by a certified applied behavior analysis specialist. On the fourth day, a consultative session is held with the diagnostic team members to discuss the results of the evaluation sessions. During the period between the fifth and seventh days, the comprehensive diagnostic evaluation report is prepared and reviewed, and then a meeting with the guardian to discuss and explain the final report.
It is noteworthy that autism is one of the most common developmental disorders, and it appears specifically during the first three years of a child’s life, and it accompanies the sufferer throughout his life.
Autism affects the individual’s communicative and social abilities, which leads to his isolation from those around him. The rapid growth of this disorder is also remarkable, as all studies estimate the percentage of people infected with it based on the statistics of the Center for Disease Control in the United States of America, with one infection for every 54 cases, and it is noted that the prevalence rate is close in most countries of the world.
The Dubai Autism Center was established as a non-profit organization in 2001. One of its main objectives is to contribute to making the Emirate a leading center in the world in the provision of accredited special education programs and specialized rehabilitative treatment services for people diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder.
• Emirates NBD is an exclusive sponsor of the “Free Diagnosis” initiative for 100 Emirati children.
• 5000 to 7000 dirhams, the value of the integrated diagnostic evaluation for the person with autism spectrum in the UAE.
• The time frame for detection and evaluation ranges between five and seven working days, according to the requirements of each case.
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