Muscat: More than 50 people, including children, parents and staff of the Rochester Wellness Centre, took part in the Autism awareness event organised by the wellness centre and Al Noor Medical Specialities centre recently.
The wellness centre, which offers a wide range of paediatric rehab services including those for autism, and cerebral palsy, organised a special day for parents and children as part of the Autism acceptance month.
“During this month, we wish to promote acceptance and celebrate autistic people as our family members, friends, classmates, co-workers and community members who make valuable contributions to our world,” said Alique Jamal, Clinic Manager at Rochester Wellness.
The event kicked off with a short talk attended by the parents and children regarding services offered by the clinic.
Later, all the participants walked until the Madinat Al Illam park near the centre where they spent the rest of the day, sharing happy moments, playing games, having candy and popcorn in the company of their friends.
“The most important goal of Autism acceptance initiative is to ensure that communities understand that individuals who have autism can, with proper care and attention, lead full and productive lives and even change the way we see the world,” Jamal added.
The wellness centre normally receives children aged between three and 12, with varying issues, including autism.
Most of the patients visit on a daily basis, but those with a more serious condition and requiring full attention are asked to stay in the rehab centre, also housed in the centre, for one, two or sometimes even three months.
One of the most important factors that can lead to a positive outcome in case of autism is to start early intervention, according to Jamal.
“Early intervention is needed for best results, even before the first signs of autism appear. Parents and therapists should work together to implement strategies at home during daily activities to help achieve successful outcomes in their child’s progress.”
Rochester Wellness (Operated by Al Noor Hospitals Group, owned by Mediclinic International) is a specialised rehabilitation facility in Muscat. In 2013, it was reported that the rate of autism in the Sultanate was 1.4 among 10,000 children.