Autism meet from March 21

DUBAI — More than 20 experts from abroad, including the US, Sweden and England, will attend a four-day international conference on autism beginning here from March 21.

By Lina Abdul Rahman

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Published: Sat 19 Feb 2005, 9:20 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 7:31 PM

The conference, titled ‘Autism and fragile X-syndrome’, will throw light on latest research on the diagnosis and treatment of neural disorders like autism and fragile x-syndrome, said Mariam Al Hashimi, the Director of the Dubai Autism Centre, which is organising the conference.

“The first two days of the conference will see presentations. The remaining two days will be designated for clinical examination of children of suspected autism,” Al Hashimi told Khaleej Times.

Al Hashimi said that 42 children have enrolled at the Centre, including eight who have been diagnosed at an early stage.

“The Dubai Autism Centre is dedicated to providing comfort and care for the autism-affected children and their families through latest treatment methods. The centre was established on November 18, 2001 in accordance with a decree issued by His Highness Shaikh Maktoum bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai.”

“Autism is not a disease, it is a lifelong developmental disability that affects the way a person communicates with the people around him. Children and adults with autism are unable to relate to others in a meaningful way, Al Hashimi explained.

She stressed the importance of early intervention advising parents to act quickly on any symptoms at an early stage and seek help.

Citing the main symptoms of autism, Al Hashimi said: “Autistic children prefer isolation. They do not accept any changes imposed by others, indicate needs by using hands and they continuously repeat words that are irrelevant to situations.”

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