JEDDAH: A new center dedicated to helping the Saudi special needs community wants to raise awareness about the importance of inclusivity on a community level through their services.
The Autism Center of Excellence (ACE) is set to serve individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and provide them with the tools they need to integrate into society and coordinate with their families to help achieve this through various services and programs.
ACE officially opened its doors on Sunday after completing its pilot phase, which began in January this year. With the support of Ahmed Al-Rajhi, minister of human resources and social development (MHRSD), and Ahmed Alkholifey, governor of the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA), the center aims to be a leading independent legal entity in the field at the regional level.
Established by the collective social responsibility efforts of MHRSD, SAMA and the support of Saudi banks, the center offers treatment sessions and programs, awareness and training lectures to help families and beneficiaries across the Kingdom.
The center was able to operate virtually during the pandemic, offering more than 800 treatment sessions remotely within the program “I train my child” — as well as dedicating more than 72 hours of awareness lectures and training sessions provided to more than 2,300 people in the Kingdom.
ACE also participated in a global study with more than 60 participants from 30 countries around the world related to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on people with special needs and their families.
To ensure its success in providing services by qualified experts, the center is keen to activate research on autism spectrum disorder (ASD) by holding scientific sessions on the future of evidence-based therapeutic interventions for people with ASD, with Saudi and international experts.