Parents seek more govt- run rehhab centers

AL AIN — Most parents of special needs children here have expressed concern over the inadequacy of rehabilitation centres in the government sector and the high cost of private centres.

By Lana Mahdi

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Published: Tue 12 Apr 2005, 10:38 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 7:01 PM

An engineer, who requested anonymity, told Khaleej Times that his disabled daughter has been a victim of the high costs for several years. He said he could not register her daughter with a private centre because of the high fees.

“My daughter is handicapped and I tried to register her with a government centre because they accept students free of charge. But I discovered that the centre accepts only locals.”

He said he found a gratis centre in Buraimi in Oman. “But I will be satisfied if I find such a centre in Al Ain,” he added.

In addition to high costs, several centres for special needs persons face the problem of unqualified teachers and supervisors beside lack of health care.

Tariq Hasan Ahmed, an employee at Al Ain Municipality in the Department of Health, was born blind, said private Rehab centres for the handicapped were exploiting the community by increasing the fees. “They look for profits not for philanthropy,” he said.

He appealed to special needs private centres to establish sections for expatriates and take into consideration their special circumstances.

Nasir Ali, Director-General and owner of a private centre, said the residential section of the centre charged an annual fee of Dh3,000 including rehabilitation care for cases of acute disability and behavioural abnormalities like hyperactivity, autism and cerebral palsy.

“We accept the school unit fees of Dh9,000 per year and it is lower compared to private schools for normal students,” he said.

Jamila Um Mohammed, who has an autistic child, said that educational zones all over the UAE should establish special education clubs in government schools in order to encourage interaction between special needs students with their normal children to promote their self-reliance and independence. She said that the quality of care provided by some private rehabilitation institutes was not satisfactory.

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