Early detection of Autism:UNESCO Beirut Conference
Autistic disorder is found throughout the world and is diagnosed by age 3 and may affect 1 in 150 children. This is why early detection and correct diagnosis is essential to maintain care and proper action for children with this disorder.
This is what the UNESCO 2nd Arab Regional Conference on Autism discussed in Beirut for two days under the patronge of the Lebanese First Lady Mrs. Suleiman.
The two day event was opened in Beirut, under the patronage and presence of the Lebanese First Lady, in cooperation with the Lebanese Autism Society. The two day meeting (7-8 October 2008) brought together over 15 regional and local NGOs that care for and work with autistic children. The meeting includes UN agencies, experts from Europe and the region, scholars, education experts and parents and teachers of autistic children.
The aim of this 2nd Regional conference is to create awareness among these communities to establish a system by which early detection and diagnosis can be made possible, which will give better results for the autistic children. Early detection can provide a better and easier educational path for the children leading to a practical and individualized educational system, which attains the needs of children with additional needs.
In a speech on behalf of Director UNESCO Beirut, Dr. Hegazi Idris, pointed out UNESCO’s concern for increasing awareness and action for special and additional needs Education, turning plans into action, and creating structures for parents and children to allow for easy access to education and care. Hegazi added that although many of the Arab countries by law allow children with special needs in schools, but in fact many of them are not accepted when they apply, and the minority of them when they are accepted in parallel educational systems, face great challenges in being accepted in their societies and communities as these are not capable for inclusiveness of these children with special needs.