Date 07 Nov 2012
With EU Funding:
Princess Basma Jerusalem Center for Disabled Children opens
a department for children with Autism
Today the Princess Basma Jerusalem Center for Disabled Children, Diakonia, and the European Union inaugurated a Department for children with Autism. This centre is fully equipped and the staff went through the required training to provide services to children from East Jerusalem and the West Bank.
The Autism department will treat, rehabilitate and educate autistic children from East Jerusalem and the West Bank and their families. A complete department was restructured and equipped. A snoezelen room (sensory room), two therapy rooms, a classroom and a playground were established. Twenty one professionals from Princess Basma center (Occupational therapists, physiotherapists, special education teachers and doctors) were trained locally and internationally on methods of treatment and rehabilitation of autistic children.
The project will also transfer the knowledge in autism to five rehabilitation centres in the West Bank and will provide training to thirty-two professionals.
John Gatt Rutter, the EU Representative, said in his speech during the inauguration ceremony: “This project is ambitious because by establishing a centre of excellence in the area of autism and offering improved services to autistic children and their families, it does not only target the population of East Jerusalem, but also the one of the West Bank and aspiring to transfer expertise to the West Bank.” “With today’s event we want to make a statement: persons with disabilities should not be treated as (objects) of charity and prejudice but rather as people with rights, who are capable of claiming those rights and have access to the same opportunities”, the EU Representative added.
The management of Princess Basma center said: “the Autism Department was really needed in East Jerusalem. There is a high rate of autism diagnosed in Jerusalem but no treatment or rehabilitation services was founded targeting Palestinian children living in Jerusalem. Autistic children need to be trained using the same language of them parents and now we are proud to be able to provided them with this service.”
For more info:
Ms. Ghada Harami, Diakonia Middle East Regional Office
Jerusalem, Beit Hanina
Tel: +972(2)5322972 // Fax: +972(2)5812602