Lattakia, SANA – The Autism Association, a civil society in Lattakia city licensed in 2006, is dedicated to rehabilitating autistic children and help develop their skills so that they can become active members of society.

Chairperson of the Association’s board of directors Shahideh Salloum said the Association begins helping children with autism at the age of three as soon as they are diagnosed, and then they begin teaching the children basic self care skills like putting on clothes, eating, and keeping themselves clean.

Salloum said this stage differs in duration in each individual case depending on how well the child responds to it, and after that comes the educational stage which involves various activities like sports, music, drawing, computer use, communication skills, and academic education, all under the supervision of specialists and with the help of parents.

She said that if a child fails to finish the two stages successfully for one reason or another, the Association provides vocational training for ages 14 and above, with the training courses covering skills and crafts such as pottery, weaving, and making assorted fashion accessories, adding that the Association helps the children sell what they make to provide a source of income for them.

In turn, technical director at the Association Darine Naameh said the training and teaching programs take into account each child’s individual capabilities and their points of strength, with the main goal being to have each child realize their full potential.

Hazem Sabbagh

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