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Dubai: The Emirates Down Syndrome Association (ESDA) headquartered in Al Ghusais has announced the resumption of work and services provided to its members for the new academic year, at its Development Centre for People with Down syndrome.

The centre provides specialised, full-time basis early intervention classes for people of determination, in addition to family counselling, occupational therapy, speech therapy, special education and behaviour modification. Classes run from 7:30am to 3:30pm Sunday to Thursday, said a press release.

Salma Kanaan, executive director of the Association, said the centre had launched new services in the field of rehabilitation and educational classes in the early intervention phase (3-5 years), two years ago.

This year, it has opened new classes for the age group of 6 to 8 years.

Of the 69 beneficiaries who were accepted during the last 2017-2018 season, five children were integrated into kindergartens and public schools.

Dr. Manal Jaroor, ESDA chairperson, said the development centre began to provide services to people with Down syndrome of all nationalities in October 2009. The number of individual sessions offered in the field of Allied Therapeutic Services (physiotherapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy), since the centre’s establishment until today is more than 33,000. This is in addition to the individual sessions that include family counselling, special education and behaviour modification.

Nawal Al Haj Nasser, ESDA vice chairperson, said the centre is distinguished by a multidisciplinary team of qualified professionals.

Jaroor praised the support provided by the association’s strategic partners, the Easa Al Gurg Charity Foundation and the Union Cooperative Society, which contributed significantly to the development and sustainability of services provided by the development centre. “We value this great contribution from our partners. Their support is fundamental and plays an essential role to ensure the sustainability of delivering our distinctive services to people of determination with Down syndrome,” she said.