Billboard 2021-1619871872736
The annual campaign was launched on World Autism Awareness Day on April 2. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Dubai Autism Center successfully concluded its 15th Annual Autism Awareness Campaign after a monthlong programme of events and activities organised with the support of the public and private sectors and members of the community.

The annual campaign was launched on World Autism Awareness Day on April 2 under the patronage of Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, with the aim of educating society about the importance of empowering individuals with autism and integrating them into mainstream life.

Outlining the key results of the campaign, Mohammed Al Emadi, Director General and Board Member of the Dubai Autism Center, said: “During the campaign, the Dubai Autism Center witnessed a high turnout of parents keen to take advantage of the free consultation sessions for children suspected of having autism. The Centre’s clinic registered over 110 requests for consultations just in the month of April.”

“Despite the circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic, awareness webinars helped us disseminate campaign messages among a wide range of institutions. Over 1,250 people attended the webinars organised by us,” he said.

What is autism?
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurological and developmental disorder that begins early in childhood and lasts throughout a person’s life. ASD can cause significant social, communication, and behavioural challenges. According to recent studies, one in 54 children is affected by ASD.

The campaign succeeded in creating high levels of visibility for its messages through exposure on digital platforms and screens of a number of government and private entities. Campaign messages were displayed on 5,300 screens across the country in RTA metro, tram and bus stations, ENOC fuel stations and major shopping malls across the UAE. Campaign advertisements were also shown in 300 cinemas run by VOX Cinemas and Novo Cinemas throughout April.

Primary goal

The campaign's primary goal was to increase public awareness and promote a better understanding of various challenges related to individuals with autism and how the community’s acceptance and understanding is critical in creating an inclusive environment for them.

Founded by the Decree of the Ruler of Dubai in 2001, Dubai Autism Center is a non-profit organisation that provides specialised services to take care of children with autism and provide support for their families and caregivers. The Center obtains its financial resources from subsidies, donations and charitable endowments.