Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) marked World Autism Awareness Day on April 2 with more than 100 parents of autistic children.
The event was held at the Children’s Rehabilitation Section (CRS) at Rumailah Hospital. Special educators, psychologists and leading experts from HMC gave an overview of autism and its
Speaking about the awareness day, Dr Fadhila al-Rawi, head of Autism Programme, said: “This year we are focusing on autistic and hyperactive children with attention deficit disorder. We want to send out a message to parents and the society at large that not all hyperactive children are autistic and we need to address the issues separately.”
The awareness day programme at HMC saw specialists talk about the signs and symptoms associated with autistic children. They explained to the parents that any behavioural change in children between the age group of one year to three years should be assessed and medical help should be sought if they are in doubt.
“Autism is a disorder where a child suddenly becomes introvert, irritable, repetitive and stops communicating effectively. Parents need to be educated about their children and seek medical help to initiate behavioural modification in children,” Dr
The CRS at Rumailah Hospital treats autistic children through applied behavioural analysis tools. An interdisciplinary team consisting of special educators, psychologists, physicians, speech and language therapists, occupational therapists, dieticians and physiotherapists work with autistic children and their families to improve their physical and psychological condition.
In April this year a special autism programme was initiated for children between the age group of three to six years. Autistic children in this age group are assessed for physical and psychological condition to initiate an early intervention programme. It offers two sessions every week for two groups of Arabic speaking children and one group of non-Arabic speakers. This service is in addition to the ongoing special clinics available for autistic children at the hospital.
The CRS presently receives autistic children after they are referred from health centres and
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