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Dubai to create lifelong Autism support network

Dubai: A new care network will be created under what is being called the ‘Dubai Declaration for Autism,’ it was announced on Sunday.

Vocational training, inclusion and integration are some of the key points of the six-point declaration adopted by the Dubai Executive Council (DEC) on the occasion of the World Autism Day on Sunday.

The declaration will usher in a system of care for children suffering from Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) to be implemented in 100 days in cooperation with other stakeholders, namely the Al Jalila Children’s Speciality Hospital and the Harvard Medical School for Global Health delivery.

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a series of developmental disabilities known to be responsible in affected individuals for social, communication and behavioral challenges from childhood throughout adulthood.

 

The declaration is an integral part of the 2013 initiative, My Community — a city for everyone, launched by Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Executive Council.

The declaration outlines the creation of a system of care to provide life-long care for individuals.

The six-point agenda to implement the declaration is as follows:

1 Adopt the Dubai Autism Declaration and coordinating efforts to develop a life-long Dubai Autistic Care System for those suffering from ASD.

2 Main government bodies, service providers in the private sectors, academic institutions, and civil society organisations involved serving people with special needs will have to support organisations dedicated to people with special needs to establish an Autism Working Group. The group will have to create an environment conducive to supporting legislations and policies to provide care for autistic people and their families and ensure their integration into mainstream society.

3 The Dubai government will set a 100-day action plan and ensure that all relevant bodies fulfil their obligations to implement the plan in order to develop the Dubai Autistic Care System. The system aims to raise awareness about autistic people and determine their rights, develop a health plan for early diagnoses, examination, treatment and intervention and develop an educational plan to integrate autistic pupils into pre-school stage, schools, occupational institutes, and higher education institutions.

4 Develop a professional data base and services provided to autistic people by increasing the number of professionals and health-care providers and develop their capacity.

5 Enhance partnerships with international, regional and local academic institutions to encourage innovation and research on health-care service, support and rehabilitation provided to autistic people.

6 Support human and financial resources to ensure the gradual implementation of these steps in health, education and social development sector.

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