Special school to be set up for autistic children
Statesman Report
PESHAWAR: Minister for Social Welfare, Special Education and Women Empowerment Dr Hasham Inamullah has announced establishment of a special school for children affected by autism.
While addressing to a consultative workshop on autism and inclusive approaches for persons with disabilities, the minister said that families and children affected by autism face issues with treatment and diagnosis of the disease, says a press release.
Dr Hasham Inamullah also announced to include braille printing press in next annual development plan. He stated that the recommendations of the experts would be welcomed by the Social Welfare Department and on the pattern of his work in Health Department, Social Welfare Advisory and Implementation Council would be notified next week. He maintained that the stakeholders in the Council would help the department in formulating policy.
Secretary Social Welfare Department Muhammad Idrees while speaking at the event said that the workshop would help in designing policy for persons with disabilities, and the establishment of center for excellence in autism. He added that children with autism are not broken and they just have a unique view of the world.
Associate Professor Population Health Sciences Shifa University Ayesha Minhas in her presentation said that it is a dream come true that government was taking keen interest in child psychiatric issues. She said that one out of five children in the country was dealing with some kind of mental health issues. She added that to deal with psychiatric issues we could not only depend on psychiatrist, rather there was a need to train parents, teachers and other community members in dealing with mental health issues.
Dr Ayesha described the most common symptoms of autism, as problem with social interaction and communication, poor eye contact, delay speech and conversation, repetition of words, and inability to understand simple questions. She stressed on awareness sessions for parents to inform them of the symptoms of autism.
Participants of the workshop appreciated political will for taking steps towards addressing the psychiatric issues, and stressed on awareness sessions and provision of facilities to persons with disabilities. They said special children need special attention and care.