Posted on April 26, 2019

The Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) awareness forum, opened by the Ministry of Public Health, laid stress on the need to improve lives of autistic persons and their families.

The two-day forum entitled ‘Towards building a supportive system for early intervention and comprehensive education for autism spectrum disorder’ is being held in a bid to explore challenges and set comprehensive goals and principles aimed at improving support for ASD patients, their families and other stakeholders.

Dr Salih Ali al-Marri, Assistant Minister of Public Health and chairman of National Autism Committee, underscored the need to create a better social environment that ensures a better place for persons with autism. “To create such an environment is not easy. But, efforts will help the desired goal to be achieved,” he said while observing that hard work and sincere intentions will be helpful for the race towards the goal. He added that persons with ASD need special care, attention and vision for intervention. “These will bring changes in their lives and lives of their families. This is what we seek through the forum. We are looking to achieve this goal by ensuring specialist care for persons with autism,” he said.

Dr al-Marri thanked HE the Minister of Public Health Dr Hanan Mohamed al-Kuwari, members of the National Autism Committee, colleagues at Hamad Medical Corp along with all those who extended co-operation for the activities, being carried for the betterment of autistic persons. “Setting higher goals that help persons with autism spectrum disorder better place in our society. The aim of this forum is not just to set goals and comprehensive foundations to improve support for autistic persons and their families,” he said exuding confidence that discussions, meetings and interventions during the forum will bring good results.

Dr Noof Mohamed al-Siddiqui, focal point of the MoPH in the National Autism Plan, said the forum is aimed at creating a better present and a bright tomorrow for individuals Autism spectrum. She added that selection of the main theme of the forum is to confirm that these efforts are on track. “Early intervention is on the top of the priorities meant to improve and develop abilities and skills of autism affected persons,” she added. Dr Stephen Mark Shore, professor of special education at Adelphi university, New York, delivered the keynote address.

Representatives of World Innovation Summit for Education, Qatar University, Qatar National Research Fund, Shafallah Centre for Persons with Disabilities, Qatar Biomedical Research Institute of Hamad Bin Khalifa University, Child Development Centre, Qatar Society for Rehabilitation of Special Needs, Al Ahli Hospital, Mental Health Friends Association (Weyak), Amal Centre for People with Special Needs, Qatar Institute for Speech and Hearing, Renad Academy and Singapore Market were also present.

source: Gulf Times