Statistics in Saudi Arabia, USA serve warnings of a possible spread of the disease among children
The Strategic Planning Dep’t at the Strategy & Corporate Governance Sector of the Roads & Transport Authority (RTA) has recently held an educative lecture about Autism disorder entitled “Accept, Embrace and Support” in the context of the community-oriented initiatives regularly staged throughout the year. In the lecture, Sara Baqir, Head of Community Service Unit at the Dubai Autism Center, shed light on the disease highlighting its alarming spread rates around the globe and focused on the cautionary signs that have to be taken into consideration in order to check the onset of the disease early on.
Nasir Bu Shihab, Director of RTA Strategic Planning, highlighted the importance of the lecture as it communicates an important communal & humanitarian message defining the concept of autism; which has emerged as a syndrome posing a huge threat to communities given its remarkable spreading proportions. He stressed the importance of raising the mental awareness and perception of this dangerous malady which is knocking the alarm bells, citing that hosting an expert in this regard would add to the importance of the lecture in providing core data about autism, and communicating it to RTA employees who in turn would pass it on to others.
For her part Sara Baqir was delighted for taking part in the lecture and cooperating with the RTA; which, she says, is keen on forging firm links with community members through transferring knowledge to its employees and enriching their knowhow in various fields. She further added: “Autism is among the neurodevelopment disorders causing brain dysfunction that lasts throughout the life of the patient. Males are more vulnerable to catch the disease than females.”
“The USA described this disease of late as a plague, since the number of victims has increased exponentially to hit 1 case among each 88 children in 2011. Moreover, statistics conducted by Saudi Arabia revealed that autism has increased 10 folds over the last four years compared to the previous four years. Autism has become more rampant than children’s diabetes, cancer, visual impairment, and Down syndrome.
“There is a wide range of features associated with autistic children which adults have to look out for in their children, especially from birth up to 3 years of age, most notably the lack of interaction with others, avoidance of optical communication with others, and typical attitudes such as the continuous ebb & flow coupled with self-harm attitudes, inappropriate playing patterns, anaphylaxis or total lack of sensitivity, lack of sensing dangers, and specific mobility patterns.”
In a related development, Baqir says that 50% of autistic children lack the ability to speak, or experience difficulty in starting or continuing a conversation. “Moreover, they lack the ability to recall words from memory, repeat routine sentences, experience difficulty in changing their style or repeating a speech, and often tend to mix up pronouns. Reasons for autism can be attributed to genetic, or environmental factors in addition to others as studies are still progressing in figuring out them,” she added.
About the appropriate treatment, Baqir said:”There is no as yet a medical technique for the treatment of autism; however, there are some medicines to curb the associated symptoms of the disease. There are also important rehabilitation and educational programs, and studies have proved their efficacy in the treatment of the disease if early management or intervention in discovering autistic cases is made.
“The Dubai Autistic Center has been established in 2003 with the aim of integrating this segment in the community through providing effective remedial programs capable of heightening the community awareness about autism disorders. Currently the Center has 46 male & female students, and delivers a host of services including awareness-raising activities. It also delivers different therapeutic programs such as the treatment of speech, language, special education, movement & functions, computer education, and prayer offering along with a variety of outdoor activities, community-interaction and government communication programs,” she elaborated.
At the end of the lecture, Nasir Bu Shihab presented a Certificate of Appreciation to Sara Baqir in commendation of her efforts and endeavours of the Center in offering interactive & effective initiatives to raise the awareness of the community about autism. More info