Photo has been used for illustrative purposes.
Jamil Khan, Senior Reporter
The Dubai Autism Centre (DAC) is organising a 10-week intensive course of RBT (Registered Behavioural Technician) for special educators that aims to assist in delivering behavioral analysis services and practice under the direction and close supervision of Board Certified Behaviour Analyst (BCBA).
The course has started with 56 trainees from the DAC educational staff participation in the course, which will last for ten weeks, equivalent to 40 training hours. The course is provided by the DAC Autism Programme Head, Nicholas Orland, Board Certified Behaviour Analyst (BCBA), and an adjunct professor of Applied Behavioural Analysis in two universities in the United States of America.
Mohammed Al Emadi, Director General and Board Member of the DAC, said, “It is an opportunity for special educators to learn about the latest programmes applied globally in the field of applied behaviour analysis related to special education that the centre seeks to adopt within its rehabilitation programmes.”
Nicholas Orland, Head of Autism Programme in the DAC, who will deliver the RBT course said, “By the end of the training, the trainees will be fluent in over 150 critical terms, conceptually understand very complex ABA principles, and pass competencies on Precision Teaching, Pivotal Response Training (PRT), Discrete Trial Training (DTT), and Natural Environment Training (NET).
“The prominent element in the applied behaviour analysis is the accurate and continuous evaluation of the child’s performance done by the registered behaviour technician (RBT) who monitors the child’s behaviour, records information, then divides difficult and complex skills into simple skills that are easy for the child to learn,” Orland explained.
“This behaviour analysis is followed by organised intervention to train the child on how to perform independently,” Orland added.
It is noteworthy that the Dubai Autism Center was established by a decree of the Ruler of Dubai in 2001 as a non-profit organisation that aims to provide specialised services to take care of children with autism and provide support for their families and their careers. The financial resources of the centre consists of subsidies, donations and any charitable endowments for the welfare of the centre.
In 2017, the Dubai Autism Centre moved to its new headquarters located on an area of 90,000 square feet, covering a total built-up area of 166,000 square feet in Al Garhoud, thereby increasing its capacity from 54 children to 180 children who are received in facilities that have been fully equipped to suit their needs.
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"It was nothing short of a miracle and the realisation of an impossible dream. We thank the UAE for their great support in arranging the reunion. This is an example of the UAE’s humanitarian approach, as well as of its noble values of tolerance and coexistence," they stressed, adding that it is a model for the whole world to emulate.