HMC receives over 200 children with autism every year in Qatar
Over 200 children with autism receive treatment from Hamad Medical Corporation every year in Qatar. The medical body offers various medical and rehabilitation services to children of all ages, including occupational and speech therapy, special education, family education and psychiatric services, as well as rehabilitation and treatment interventions.
To commemorate World Autism Awareness Month, Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) recently organized activities to show support for children and families affected by autism. Speaking at a workshop, Dr. Haitham El Bashir, Senior Consultant and Head of Children Rehabilitation at HMC, explained “Autism is a neuro-developmental disorder directly associated with impaired social interaction and communication skills. Children with autism can have exceptional skills and abilities, but they may need to be supported in a different way. Healthcare, education and social services should all contribute to supporting their success.”
In discussing the public perception of autism, Dr. Bashir said that it is often misinterpreted as bad behavior in children and the condition is generally misunderstood; it carries a social stigma. Raising public understanding should be a key part of any future plan. “Autism is usually evident in the early years of a child’s life, before the age of three. Parents who are concerned that their children are displaying signs of autism should seek medical advice, as early detection is linked to better outcomes.”