As a father of an autistic child, I was petrified when I heard the ‘A’ word and soon I was frantically looking for ‘autism‘ in Google. The true facts of Autism are alarming in Dubai and the other Emirates.
Here are 5 facts of Autism in the UAE
AUTISM FACT 1
1 Child is diagnosed with Autism every 20 minutes in the United Arab Emirates.
This was published both in Gulf News and Khaleej Times recently. When you do the math, its 3 children every hour. and 36 kids every day. These numbers can get even higher in American cities and in Europe. Autism is on the rise in India too, every major city has its own share of ASD children.
AUTISM FACT 2
1 out of every 110 children is Autistic in the UAE
This is true. Now think of schools and work out the children that are in the Spectrum. The problem is, most parents are reluctant to accept that their child is Autistic, this mainly stems from cultural background and ethnicity. Since Dubai has a myriad of cultures, it is very difficult to pinpoint an accurate number. However, these were the figures that were released in Khaleej Times last month.
AUTISM FACT 3
Boys are 5 times more likely to be diagnosed than girls.
I have no idea as to why it affects more boys than girls. No, it’s not a curse nor God’s way of punishing. I’ve had several parents who would tell me this. This has nothing to do with your Spirituality. It’s more genetics (for once I can agree with genetics). This is still a mystery.
AUTISM FACT 4
Every minute, a parent is searching for Autism in Google.
There are over 5,100 searches for the word ‘autism’ alone. This does not include ADHD, hyperactivity, learning difficulties, dyslexia. Realistically this number will be much higher. Perhaps, this could easily be doubled or tripled. Countries like the United States, the United Kingdom, and India are the highest, this could be due to the availability of statistics in this region.
The last fact will change the way you see your Autistic child.
AUTISM FACT 5
There is hope for every child in Autism
Believe that your child will overcome Autism. Your faith will greatly impact your child’s cure. This has been so big in my life and it’s the most important one that brought about the change in my son’s life. I wasn’t willing to settle down for just ABA therapy, Speech Therapy, and Occupational Therapy. I knew there was more to it. I quickly learned that food had a huge impact on my son’s behavior, especially SUGAR. Most therapists would use candy as a reinforcer. This is terribly wrong and I had no idea, nor did anyone warn me about the dangers of sugar with an autistic child.
My struggles and my beliefs changed not only the life of my son, who is completely normal but also changed our lives for good.
Here are some of the Blogs that I’ve written as a Father of an Autistic Child, who fought and overcame Autism.