Dubai Autism Centre launches its 17th annual autism awareness campaign

 Dubai Autism Centre launches its 17th annual autism awareness campaign

The Dubai Autism Centre launched its 17th annual autism awareness campaign today, coinciding with World Autism Awareness Day, under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai.

The Dubai Autism Centre has organised this annual campaign since 2006, launching the month-long initiative on the World Autism Awareness Day every year. The annual initiative is aimed at raising awareness about autism and promoting inclusion of individuals with autism in society. It includes a range of activities such as free diagnosis, workshops, seminars, and events, as well as the lighting up of several landmarks in Dubai in blue to show support for the cause.

The campaign also seeks to showcase the creative skills of children with autism through art exhibitions and auctions, with the proceeds going towards supporting the services provided to individuals with autism by the Dubai Autism Centre.

Hisham Abdullah Al Qassim, Chairman of Dubai Autism Centre, expressed his gratitude to the Dubai Crown Prince for his patronage of the annual autism awareness campaign.

Al Qassim also expressed his appreciation for the partnership between the government and private sectors in supporting the campaign, highlighting the contributions of strategic partners such as Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) and Wasl Asset Management Group, as well as Al Ansari Exchange, the exclusive partner for the free assessment initiative. He emphasised the importance of collaborative efforts in achieving the goals of the National Policy for Empowering People of Determination.

On this occasion, Al Ansari Exchange announced its support for the free diagnosis initiative for 100 Emirati children, which was launched last year. The company has provided AED500,000 to support the initiative and transform it into an annual feature. This will give Emirati families more opportunities for early detection of autism and ensure that their children receive the necessary intervention.

The Free Comprehensive Assessment Initiative provides free annual assessment sessions for 100 Emirati children for autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The initiative also includes a pre-screening campaign of students enrolled in kindergartens, first and second grades.

Mohammed Al Emadi, Director-General of the Dubai Autism Centre, said, “The 17th annual autism awareness campaign aims to emphasise the significance of creating an autism-friendly community that facilitates accessibility to the services offered by public and private institutions.”

Al Emadi stressed that since its establishment, the Dubai Autism Centre has sought to enhance community awareness of autism, not only by raising awareness of its symptoms but also by introducing individuals and institutions to the requirements for appropriate dealing with people with autism. To achieve this, the centre has launched many campaigns and awareness initiatives, the most prominent of which is the annual autism awareness campaign.

As part of the campaign, art workshops will be held to showcase the creative skills of children with autism. These workshops will be organised by the Dubai Autism Centre in collaboration with Zee Arts Community, a group of fine artists from around the world who will share their own drawing tools with the centre’s students. The aim is to showcase the paintings of the students in a charitable auction, with the proceeds going towards supporting the services provided to children with autism.

The campaign will also feature a series of awareness webinars in schools and public institutions to increase public knowledge and promote a better understanding of the different challenges faced by individuals with autism, emphasising the importance of community support and understanding in achieving inclusion.