What are the conditions for registering cases at National Autism Centre?

Oman Wednesday 08/February/2023 11:29 AM
By: Times News Service
What are the conditions for registering cases at National Autism Centre?
Photo - shutterstock

Muscat: In a special interview, the Director of the Vocational Assessment and Rehabilitation Center at the Ministry of Social Development, who is in charge of managing the National Autism Centre, Dr. Nadia Ali Al-Ajmi, revealed the standards and requirements that the centre follows to receive cases of children suffering from autism.

Dr. Nadia explained that the centre's services are limited to those from Muscat Governorate and the nearby areas of the governorate, such as the Wilayat of Barka and the Wilayat of Bidbid. The case must have a medical diagnosis from an accredited health institution in the Sultanate and prove that he/she has autism spectrum disorder. In addition, the child must not be enrolled in another institution dealing with the autism spectrum, whether an institution affiliated with the Ministry of Social Development or a private institution.

She also clarified that the child must be within the category that the centre targets, namely children from 2 to 22 years of age, along with some exceptional cases. This is because the centre provides, in addition to the therapeutic services, vocational rehabilitation services for cases of autism spectrum disorder. The age groups are divided in the centre between the early intervention stage, the transitional stage, and the vocational rehabilitation stage.

Diagnostic criteria require that symptoms become apparent before the child reaches three years of age. Autism affects the brain's data processing by changing how neurons and their synapses are connected and organised, but how this happens is not yet fully understood.

What is the capacity of the centre?

The capacity of the National Autism Centre is 120 cases, said Dr. Nadia Ali Al-Ajmi.

She added that currently the number of cases enrolled in the centre has reached 50 cases, with 73 employees including administrators and technicians, in order to ensure that the service begins in the required manner, according to the plans prepared to achieve the goals of the centre. Work is also underway to complete the maximum capacity of the centre.

The role of the National Autism Centre is to help people with autism and promote public awareness of them. The centre also aims to identify cases and treat them, as well as educate the community on how to care for people living with autism, and help them adapt in society.