Burj Khalifa lights up in blue colour to support World Autism Awareness Day.
Jamil Khan, Senior Reporter
Landmarks in Dubai lit up in blue to mark the World Autism Awareness Day on Thursday night. Dubai Media Office on Twitter shared photographs of Burj Al Arab and Burj Khalifa in bright blue colour.
The Ministry of Community Development is keeping pace with World Autism Awareness Day under the theme “From Transition to Adulthood” with a series of innovative initiatives and events targeting children with autism, families and parents, autism centres, and all members of the community continuing throughout April to promote sustainable awareness.
The ministry’s activities adopt the celebration of the United Nations this year 2020, to focus on issues that are related to the transition of autism children to adulthood, and emphasise the importance of participation in youth culture, community self-determination, the process of decision making, access to higher education and employment opportunities, and independent living.
Wafa Hamad Bin Sulaiman emphasised the ministry’s keenness to promote services and initiatives that enable people with autism to participate actively in the community, based on the principle of preserving their full civil and constitutional rights, noting that the UAE’s efforts are always proactive and pioneering in providing welfare and rehabilitation for the people of determination by adopting more strengthening initiatives at various global events, supporting the welfare and empowerment efforts and families to deal with children with the spectrum disorder. It also provides necessary guidance for mothers to monitor the early symptoms of autism, thereby achieving sustainable community awareness of autism.
In response to the World Autism Awareness Day, Wafa Hamad Bin Sulaiman revealed that the people of determination students, currently working in mashagel for vocational rehabilitation and employment, were able to make 2,000 bracelets called “Bracelets of Determination” as part of the “Remote Rehabilitation” project to raise awareness of autism spectrum disorder during April 2020. These bracelet initiatives are specially designed for this occasion in blue and accompanied by a QR identification card that includes references on autism such as social stories and autism publications, which can be sustainably used.
As part of the awareness initiatives on this occasion, the Ministry of Community Development announced the initiative to light a number of landmarks in the UAE, on April 2nd, in blue, which symbolises the global autism spectrum disorder, in order to raise awareness of the importance of the development programs and services for people with autism and their families.
The Ministry of Community Development shall broadcast a 3-week programme on weekly basis to raise awareness of the challenges related to autism spectrum disorder through the service “Taaluf Live” via the Ministry’s Instagram, where several topics are put forward by specialists. The specialists shall provide an awareness session targeting parents of the people with spectrum disorder autism and answer their most important queries through the feature of live broadcast on Instagram.
Dubai Autism Center (DAC) announced the launch of the distance-learning programme for children with autism during the period of school closure in line with the national efforts to prevent spread of the coronavirus COVID-19.
Mohammed Al Emadi, Director General of Dubai Autism Center, said, “In light of the UAE’s efforts to support the continuation of the educational system movement in the country under the current circumstances, we announce the availability of the distance-learning programme for our students during the period of school closure.
“The DAC has already distributed tablets to the students in order to implement interactive educational tasks and to observe the child’s level of progress through professional smart apps such as “Ynmo”, which is the first smart Arab platform aimed at improving the quality of services provided to people of determination,” Al Emadi said.
Nicholas Orland, Head of Autism Programme at the DAC, said that the distance-learning programme depends on innovative methods that allow individual sessions for the student in the presence of the guardian.
“Video modelling, worksheets and guidelines will be sent to the guardians by our teachers and therapists who prepare these materials according to the students’ objectives to carry out activities at home under the supervision of the guardian,” Orland said.
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