The Ministry of Public Health organised several events and activities as part of the celebration of World Autism Day (ASD) in collaboration with Ministry of Education and Higher Education, Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs, Hamad Medical Corporation, Primary Health Care Corporation, Sidra Medicine, among others.
Dr Nouf Siddiqui
MoPH concluded Sunday the three-day virtual Annual Qatar Autism Spectrum Disorder Forum. This year, the forum focused on providing practical solutions for parents of autistic people and ASD professionals on the ways to address the challenges facing children and adults with ASD, particularly during Coved-19 pandemic.
Sheikh Dr Mohamed bin Hamad al-Thani, director of Public Health Department, MoPH said, " People with autism spectrum disorder are one of the priority groups that receives the care and attention of the health sector in Qatar, given the importance of providing specialised and advanced services to this precious group.”
Sheikh Mohamed added that the health sector is keen with the active partners in Qatar on the importance of ensuring access to health, education and social services for autism spectrum disorder while promoting early intervention services and comprehensive education of ASD, in addition to keeping up with the latest global developments and research and scientific studies in the field of prevention, treatment, rehabilitation and various services provided to people with ASD.
Dr Nouf Siddiqui, health lead of the National Autism Plan, said, "The annual Qatar Autism Spectrum Disorder Forum is an important event in Qatar's efforts and the health sector to promote services for people with autism spectrum disorder, in conjunction with World Autism Day.”
She said that MoPH, in collaboration with its partners, continues to work on integrating people with Autism Spectrum Disorder into society, in accordance with ambitious plans and based on the latest international developments in this field.
The annual Autism Spectrum Disorder Forum reviewed many key topics, with Dr Eric Fompon, professor at Oregon University of Health and Science, director of Autism Research Institute for Developmental Disabilities in the United States of America, and keynote speaker at the forum. He explained the result of his latest research in the united states which confirmed that there is no direct relation between vaccinations and Autism spectrum disorder.
Dr Michel Elysandri, executive director of the University of Miami, Centre for Autism and Related Disabilities spoke about promoting early screening and intervention access.
Dr Ayman al-Balsha, autism expert and behavioural therapy consultant, Jordan, gave a presentation on Community Development Model, Co-operation for Early Intervention, “Tamkeen” training programme.
Julie Fisher, executive director of New York City Autism, Independent School, discussed "applied behaviour analysis and an introduction to the model of the Independent Autism School in New York City".
Mahmoud Shayab, programme director and president of the Jordanian Society for Behaviour and Analysis at the Jordanian Autism Academy, presented a review of the analysis of the applied behaviour approach to language. Dr Watfa al-Mamari, director of paediatrics at Sultan Qaboos University Hospital, Oman, gave a briefing on the regional communication and cooperation in autism research and services.
Dr Dina al-Thani, associate professor at the faculty of engineering and science at Hamad Bin Khalifa University, gave a presentation on "Augmented reality for learning of children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder”
MoPH also organised a virtual workshop in cooperation with the World Health Organisation on the development of professional competencies and training programs for autism spectrum disorder from March 30 to April1.