In her tour of the facilities, Queen Rania – who has a deep interest in early childhood development issues – was among the first to view the DAC’s new emerging therapy programmes.
Queen Rania opened two new departments – a fully-equipped Early Intervention Room, which from September will be catering for students aged 2-4 years; and the Daily Living Skills Therapy Area, which is designed as a home with a fully equipped kitchen and a combined bedroom/living room, where the students will learn self-help skills and independence.
During her visit, Queen Rania also took the opportunity to view the DAC’s art therapy facilities. She met several of the Center’s professional therapists and discussed new developments in autism treatment, including early diagnosis and the teaching of daily life skills.
“Queen Rania’s longstanding commitment to advancing children’s and family causes is well-known both regionally and globally,” said Mr Ahmad Al Sirkal, executive committee president, and DAC board member. “We are delighted that she has shown an interest in the Centre. Her promotion of early childhood development issues complements the DAC’s focus on raising awareness about the diagnosis and treatment of autistic children.”
DAC’s new Early Intervention programme is targeted at screening and diagnosing children with autism at the earliest possible stage. The earlier the disorder is diagnosed –behavioural research has demonstrated – the better the long-term prognosis for an autistic child. Earlier autism diagnosis also enables children to receive therapy at an age when their ‘windows’ of development for learning about language, vision, motor skills, social skills and intellectual abilities are still fully open. An external observation room will enable parents and professionals to watch and learn from the work done in the room.
The Daily Living Skills therapy area – the other new facility opened by Queen Rania – encourages autistic children to learn the fundamentals of family life, including food preparation, hygiene, and basic safety.
This week, the DAC has also been participating in the first Dubai International Humanitarian Aid & Re-Development Conference and Exhibition (DIHAD 2004) to boost public awareness about the information, advice, support, and training that DAC provides to the UAE’s autistic community.
Research will be an important part of the future work within Dubai Autism Centre and in March 2005, the DAC will host an International Conference on Autism. The Centre is already involved in research on the genetic side of autism and on the similar but less common behavioural disorder, fragile x syndrome.
Thursday, April 8- 2004 @ 11:53 UAE local time (GMT+4) Replication or redistribution in whole or in part is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Mediaquest FZ LLC.