Al Jalila Children’s Specialty Hospital, the first and only children’s hospital in UAE, in partnership with Harvard Medical School Center for Global Health Delivery – Dubai, is pleased to announce that they have completed the ‘Systems of Care for Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD): A Global Perspective’ paper, an important document that aims to approach ASD from a comprehensive system of care perspective that can promote integrated services resulting in a seamless journey for affected individuals and their families within their communities.
The document came as a direct result of the successful conference that was organized by both parties back in 2017. The systems of care conference marked a milestone in the efforts to raise awareness of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and featured global and regional experts in the study and practice of autism, it mainly focused on the most advanced systems of care for children with autism and their families across the community.
The ‘systems of care’ document, which is being released as a conclusion for a month long events and activities organized by Al Jalila Children to commemorate the World Autism Month 2019, highlights the issues related to a lack of an integrated and comprehensive view of ASD as a common problem shared by professionals across different countries. The findings offer a wide array of recommendations towards developing a comprehensive system of care for ASD that would result in easier access, decreased obstacles, and improved outcomes. In addition to the social benefits, economic benefits to a comprehensive and integrated system of care were highlighted that provide efficient, coordinated, accessible, continuous culturally competent care.
Dr. Abdulla Al Khayat, CEO of Al Jalila Children’s, said “there are many misconceptions that govern our perceptions when dealing with ASD individuals, this has to change. Al Jalila Children’s adopted an aggressive approach to help achieve this goal by organizing an international conference to address this issue with a wide participation of experts from across the world, and then documenting the findings in an official manuscript that offers guidelines for public and private entities on how best to integrate ASD individuals within their ecosystem.”
“We also had the chance to present our approach at the 2017 creative lab organized by Dubai Plan 2021 in the presence of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai. With the support of Dubai’s leadership, and the collaboration of the public and private sectors, we are very optimistic that Dubai would set the benchmark for other cities in the world when it comes to implementing the best practices when dealing with individuals affected by ASD,” concluded Dr. Khayat.
Dr. Salmaan Keshavjee, Director, Harvard Medical School Center for Global Health Delivery-Dubai and Professor of Global Health and Social Medicine, Department of Global Health and Social Medicine, Harvard Medical School, said: “Our goal is to ensure that the fruits of modern medicine are delivered to people who need it, in the communities where they live and work. Early intervention for ASD can make a significant difference to the lives of individuals, families and communities, and our goal is to ensure that every affected individual receives the care that they need. We are honored to be working with Dr. Amar Albanna and Al Jalila Children’s Hospital on this important health problem.”
Al Jalila Children’s announced earlier this month that it has planned a series of announcements and activities to further raise awareness and highlight the challenges of ASD affected individuals, this included a city wide campaign headlined ‘Stand for Blue’, and the release of the only Arabic version of their 100 Day Kit for Newly Diagnosed Families of School Age Children – an important document designed to assist families of children recently diagnosed with autism during the critical period following an autism diagnosis.