The United Nations General Assembly, in its resolution 139/62, declared April 2nd as World Autism Awareness Day, in order to highlight the need to improve the quality of life of children and adults who suffer from autism, so they can lead full and meaningful lives. The 2015 theme is "Employment: The Autism Advantage".
Estimates show that more than 80% of adults with autism are unemployed, as research indicates that employers are missing out on the capabilities that people with autism have in greater abundance than others do, such as the unique abilities in pattern recognition and logical reasoning, as well as a greater attention to detail. Such qualities give them preference to occupy certain work positions, such as software testing, data entry, working in labs, and language review, and these are some few examples. The hurdles that need to be overcome to unleash this potential include: a shortage of vocational training, inadequate support with job placement, and pervasive discrimination.
According to the latest reports, the average of prevalence of autism is about 29 cases per 10 thousand children in the UAE, and the mortality rates among children in the Middle East and North Africa decreased five times over the recent decades. Among the initiatives that seek to improve the lives of children who suffer from this disease in the UAE is the initiative of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, who have recently donated the Dubai World Cup Prize of 6 million dollars, in its 20th edition, for the children of Dubai Autism Center, and he expressed his optimism for the initiatives undertaken by the Center, and for the psychological, social and therapeutic benefits for children with autism. His Highness directed to expedite the development of plans and launching of initiatives over the next short period of time to benefit the children and their families at the earliest opportunity, and it is noteworthy that His Highness, Crown Prince of Dubai, is one of the constant supporters and passionate participants in the activities and sporting events devoted to people with autism. The Sharjah Autism Center of the Sharjah City for Humanitarian Services, is organizing the Autism Forum 2015, under the slogan "Out of the Maze", on the 1st and 2nd of April, which offers through its axes a selection of the most important scientific experiments and research in the field of autism and their impact on the services provided to people with autism in institutions working in this area. The Sharjah Autism Center’s Forum aims to highlight the most important experiences and scientific research in the field of autism, give the workers in this field new skills and knowledge that contribute to raising the level of services provided to people with autism, and open new horizons for institutions and individuals alike for cooperation and exchange of expertise in the field of autism.
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