Experts discuss Gulf policy on autism disorder

Energy Sunday 26/January/2020 20:39 PM
By: Times News Service
Experts discuss Gulf policy on autism disorder

Muscat: The first Gulf Autism Conference, which kicked off on Friday under the patronage of Madiha bint Ahmed Al Shaibaniyah, Minister of Education concluded on Sunday at the Oman Convention & Exhibition Centre.
The conference was organised under the sponsorship of the Gulf Health Council and participation of the Ministry of Health (MoH) and Sultan Qaboos University in cooperation with the Ministry of Social Development, UNICEF Office – Muscat and the King Salman Centre for Disability Research.The conference resulted in a number of recommendations including developing an integrated Gulf policy for the Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and the other developmental disorders, improving the current local and gulf ASD strategies, enabling the parents of children with ASD on how to deal with those children and the rehabilitation methods, developing Gulf strategies for experience exchange, as well as strengthen the capabilities of the concerned people to deal with the ASD through practical training based on scientific basics and utilizing the global experts in this field.
Dr. Ahmed bin Mohammed Al-Saidi, Minister of Health stressed that Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is spreading in various parts of the world and related statistics are varying from one country to another.
Therefore, paying attention to children with ASD and fostering efforts must be provided by a number of government and civil authorities, he said.
The Minister of Health indicated that this conference enriches the specialists and families of children with ASD with related information on how to take care of these children.
The three-day Conference aimed to establish a common understanding of autism between Ministries in Oman and regional neighbours on current approaches for measuring and diagnosing children with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), identify needs and gaps in the literature and practice of caring for autistic children, identify best ways to advocate for better care of children with autism, provide basic training methods to participants who are seeking to better understand caring for children and other individuals with autism, as well as review legislation in Oman and neighbouring countries on the protection of children with autism and other disabilities.
Dr. Watfa Al Mamari, Senior Paediatric Consultant at the Sultan Qaboos University Hospital and Head of the Scientific Committee of the Conference pointed out that the international estimations of the World Health Organisation indicate that the prevalence of autism reaches approximately 1 per 100 inhabitants.