Autism Spectrum Disorder affects 1 in 146 births in the UAE
18th April 2018; Dubai, UAE: British Orchard Nursery in its continuous endeavor to create an all-encompassing environment for the people of determination has collaborated with Autism Rocks to bring awareness on autism and developmental delays. The Nursery’s initiative also comes in line with KHDA’s inclusive policy that seeks to change society’s attitude towards people of determination allowing for a more inclusive education policy framework.
To educate the society and mark the autism awareness month celebrations, the preschool is running a series of sessions for teachers, caregivers, children and parents across their 18 nurseries throughout the month of April. The program is aimed at equipping them with the right tools to improve the child’s everyday functional skills by increasing useful behaviors and reducing those that may interfere with the daily activities and learning.
A study by Dubai Autism Centre estimates that Autism Spectrum Disorder affects 1 in 146 births in the UAE, while less than 20 percent of the cases are assessed for ASD between the age group of 6 to 18.
Dr. Vandana Gandhi, the founder and CEO of British Orchard Nursery, the award winning and ISO quality certified pre-school chain said: “As a nursery, we are very receptive and open to children with varying learning abilities. A number of children are on the autism spectrum or with developmental delays in UAE and we ensure that they get the best help possible. Earlier in the year, we introduced a special developmental screening from USA to identify gifted children and children at risk of potential problems or delays. Ours was the first nursery chain to take such an initiative reflecting our value system and in support of Dubai Disability Strategy 2020. We hope that our constant efforts help secure the opportunities for children with disability, enabling them to live in an inclusive environment with suitable, accessible and quality services.
“It is equally important to constantly inform and educate all the stakeholders involved in educating the children to understand and empathize with these children, and to create a more positive and healthy learning environment helping them to get into main stream schooling. We invest heavily in resources and are working along with our SEN Instructors to create programs and sessions targeted to create an all-round development curriculum and structure for all children’s growth,” added Dr Vandana.
Teachers are being given informative workshops on Applied Behavioral Analysis Therapy and how it can be used to teach practical and relevant skills to give children with developmental, cognitive or behavioral problems the tools they need to achieve their developmental milestones.
ABA Therapy should begin as soon as the child has been diagnosed or as early as possible, to have a positive impact and prepare them for the future. Applied Behavior Analysis in a pre-school setting provides a basic introduction to the science and the highly beneficial role that it can play in early childhood education for both typically developing children and those with special needs.
Class teachers and parents are being provided with useful examples related to the following: Implementing effective techniques for changing behavior; Strategies for every day challenges both in the classroom and at home; Strategies for addressing less frequent issues; Suggestions for how to consult and correspond with parents and caretakers.