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QF Organizes a Seminar on Improving People with Autism

QATAR Foundation organizes a seminar on the importance of early intervention in improving the condition of people with autism

  • Publish date: Thursday، 22 December 2022 Last update: Sunday، 02 April 2023
QF Organizes a Seminar on Improving People with Autism

Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development (QF) organized a virtual symposium on autism spectrum disorder (ASD) as a life-long incurable condition and the importance of early intervention in improving long-term outcomes.

The seminar, entitled "Autism: comorbidities and behavioral challenges", as part of a joint autism discussion series held throughout April/ Autism Awareness month, highlighted the developmental disorder that, according to the World Health Organization, affects one in every 100 children worldwide.

Ms. Kimberly Hendon, an autism specialist and behavior consultant at the Learning Center at Qatar Foundation, said that there is no cure for autism, but early intervention contributes to maximizing treatment outcomes and providing all the needs that a child with autism may need, noting that proper diagnosis is just as important as early intervention.

She explained that every child has different needs, so it is a matter of assessing what the child needs in terms of services, treatments, and continuous monitoring plans, because as the child progresses in treatment, new behaviors will appear, and sometimes they may regress.

Hendon added that development plans change as the child gets older, where social skills in kindergarten are completely different from skills at the twelfth-grade level when the young person moves into working life outside of school, calling on parents in case they notice that a certain treatment does not work, or there is no change or improvement, they should not retreat but rather try other treatments, because there is no one-size-fits-all approach.

For his part, Dr. Fouad Al-Shaaban, senior scientist at the neurological disorders Research Center at Qatar Biomedical Research Institute (QBRI), Hamad bin Khalifa University, said that early intervention plays a big role in positively affecting the affected condition, pointing out that the sooner autism spectrum disorder is diagnosed, the better the results and although it is difficult to diagnose the condition during the first year of life, it is possible, and if a child under the age of two is diagnosed, this gives him a greater opportunity for intervention and treatment.

Parents of children with autism face significant challenges with their children, including the need to develop social skills such as social interaction and communication, but with the continued lack of understanding of their requirements, parents 'effort is lost in the search for alternative ways and means to help their children cope with this environment that treats them carefully, which causes them frustration, they lose motivation to integrate their children into society and are disappointed.

Spreading awareness about autism will make the community more aware of the needs of people with autism and will contribute to supporting us as parents and encouraging us to take our children to public places and involve them in many activities, without fear of any reactions that may negatively affect their mental health.

This article was previously published on qatarmoments.To see the original article, click here