How common is autism in the UAE?

Although the UAE has no exact figures, it’s a condition that may affect as many as 1 in 50 children in the country.

What causes autism?

In most cases, autism is considered idiopathic – meaning there is no known cause for the condition. Many studies point the finger towards genetics, atypical brain development, immune deficiency, food allergies and even poor nutrition, but these have yet to be substantially proven.

How can I tell if my child has autism?

There are signs that can help with early detection, with official diagnoses as early as 18 months.  Parents should look for developmental milestones such as smiling and other facial expressions by nine months, back and forth gestures such as pointing by 12 months, and a maintenance of babbling, speech and social skills at all ages. A lack or loss of any of these skills could be a warning sign. Please look at our resources page for more information on signs and diagnosis.

What should I do if I suspect my child has autism?

Don’t wait to seek advice, and follow your parental instinct. The earlier a doctor or medical professional can diagnose a child with autism, the better the chance for improving function and maximizing a child’s progress.

Can someone with autism lead an independent life?

It is important to note that although autism is a condition that can be diagnosed, each child’s symptoms can be extremely different.  With the proper help and experience, many people living with autism can lead extremely independent lives.