2,500 take part in 4th Autism Awareness Walk 2012 in Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi, 26 April 2012 (WAM) - The Future Centre for Special Needs celebrated today its 4th Autism Awareness Walk, under the patronage of Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahayan, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research.
More than 2,500 people held lit candles and walked for the cause of Autism Awareness. This overwhelming response indicates that people in Abu Dhabi are becoming more aware of this condition and its implications.
The Autism awareness Walk 2012 was aimed at persuading all stakeholders to support people with Autism and their families in every way possible. It was also intended to send out the message "Accept, Understand and Educate people with Autism". Persons with autism have difficulty in language and communication, social interaction; they also have repetitive behaviors and rigidity with routines. Living with Autism poses many challenges for the person and their families on a daily basis.
This event has been sponsored by Al Noor Hospital (Main Sponsor) and GASCO . It's organized in cooperation with Abu Dhabi Police, and Abu Dhabi Municipality. 45 musician from the Musical Band of Abu Dhabi police led the walk. In addition, Abu Dhabi police supported this annual event by providing all safety and security requirements and some members also joined the walk.
The event included different pre-walk informative activities that were intended to increase public awareness of ASD or Autism Spectrum Disorder. There were some entertainment treats especially for the young participants.
Last year United States Statistics showed that , approximately 1 in every 110 children is diagnosed with Autism, while this year the ratio has increased up to 1 in every 88 children .
The program is designed to meet the individual needs of na?ve learners with a variety of learning differences. Currently 64% of the children being served in the CLM program at the Future Centre have a diagnosis of autism. An early intervention class was opened this school year, and three additional staff members completed their CLM Course of Study to become certified instructors. We hope that our efforts towards awareness will create a better understanding for the people and families affected by Autism.
This year we achieved one of the biggest achievements so far, and that is for Future Centre to have been given by the Abu Dhabi Executive Council with a purpose-built building for its 170 students.
The 5-500 square meter facility is located at the Mohammed bin Zayed City and it had been designed after the world standards in special schools with ample amenities to cater to educational and rehabilitation needs of the students. The Future Centre is potentially more able to sustain the services within the new premises. In addition to the classrooms and therapy rooms, there are indoor swimming pool, multipurpose hall for physical education and musical activities, computer room, art and music room, vocational workshop, kitchen and prototype room which are being used for co-curricular learning of the students.
Future Centre aims to further improve the quality of its services by providing assistive equipment for students with physical disability to help improve their movement, to overcome the obstacles in the process of increasing the student population, to prepare the able senior students for meaningful livelihood and to prepare more students for both social and educational integration, and to enhance the current systems for co-ordination among the various departments including the administration, rehabilitation and education.