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Dubai releases guide to regulate services for people with autism

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The Dubai Government has released a framework of guiding principles to improve health services provided to children and adolescents of disabilities – particularly individuals with autism. 

This endeavour comes in alignment with the objectives of the Inclusive Health Policy, a programme within the Dubai Disability Strategy 2020, as part of the ‘My Community … A City for Everyone’ initiative, which aims to transform Dubai into an inclusive city for people of determinations, and promotes monitoring their health, protecting their rights, and improving their quality of life.]

The ‘My Community … A City for Everyone’ initiative was launched in 2014 by H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council, under the supervision of the Higher Committee for the Protection of the Rights of People of Determination and the leadership of H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

The initiative is based on several programmes focused on creating an inclusive society to guarantee people of determination a better opportunity for social inclusion, protection, healthcare, education, and future employment.

The Higher Committee continues to follow up with the various stakeholders to ensure the Dubai Disability Strategy 2020.

Dr. Amna Al Mazmi, Director of Policy and Strategies for Social Development at the General Secretariat of the Dubai Executive Council, said, “The Inclusive Health Policy, one of the pillars of Dubai Disability Strategy 2020, provides vital factors for enhancing the services provided to people of determination.

The guiding principles adopted – which serve as a basis for the General Clinical Standards – represent the first step towards the development of the necessary protocols for care and rehabilitation services of children and adolescents with Autism, intending to ensure better opportunities for social inclusion, education, and future employment prospects for all.”

“The guiding principles allow for consistency in early intervention methods and policies; healthcare protocols; and the basics of assessing the quality of services provided by specialists and professionals to ensure quality is consistent across various facilities. The principles will also ensure improving specialists’ performance given that their training will be based on the new set of standards.”

“The early intervention phase targets children of determination from birth, which helps develop their capabilities, empower them and increase their access to education.” said Dr. Ammar Albanna, Adolescent Psychiatrist and the Head of the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Centre of Excellence at Al Jalila Children’s Specialty Hospital in Dubai, and the lead project manager to the project.

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