Muscat: The Ministry of Health (MOH), represented by the Mental Health Section in the Department of Non-communicable Diseases organised a workshop on 'Strategies to Deal with Autistic Children for Parents' on Sunday, under the patronage of H.E. Dr. Ali bin Taleb Al Hinai, MOH Undersecretary for Planning Affairs.
"The global statistics indicated that the autism rate in the Sultanate is estimated to be around 1 in 68 children, while the number of diagnosed cases reached 600 cases in Al-Massarah Hospital and 800–1,000 at Sultan Qaboos University Hospital," Director of Primary Healthcare Dr. Said Al-Lamki said.
The two-day workshop targeted the parents of autistic children as well as psychologists working in health institutions in order to raise the awareness of the strategies used in education and rehabilitation for children in the autism spectrum.
The workshop including lectures on autism, ways to improve pro-social behavior and decreasing challenging behavior, as well as alternative and augmentative communication.
Al Lamki added that within the ninth five-year plan, the ministry developed an integrated programme to deal with such cases and health workers have been trained on several programmes assisting them in diagnosis.
Number of experts and specialists from the May Institute in Boston, USA were gave lectures.
Autism is neurodevelopmental disorder and leads to problems with the child in how to communicate with the others, as well as disorders inacquiring behaviour and social skills. Autism appears during the first three years of the child and lasts throughout their life.