Helping Oman Serve Children with Autism

Laying a Foundation

From January 8 – 12, physicians and experts from the National Autism Center at the May Institute in Boston visited Oman. The visit from Dr. Ralph Sperry, and his colleagues Dr. Cynthia Anderson, and Dr. Ryan Martin, was a follow up to Dr. Sperry’s initial visit in October of 2016. The National Autism Center is assisting Oman in laying the foundation for Oman to take the next steps in effectively tackling the upsurge in autism diagnoses in the Sultanate.

Over 250 people attended the weeklong workshops on early identification and intervention for autism in children.

Over 250 people attended the weeklong workshops on early identification and intervention for autism in children.

The Next Steps

On this occasion, the doctors continued their efforts to build Oman’s capacity to identify children with autism, and empower educators, parents, and physicians. The doctors and experts from the National Autism Center provided a week-long workshop, helping parents, physicians, and educators more effectively intervene to support children with autism, and ensure they can become productive, and fully included members of society. In addition to two separate workshops for clinicians, parents, and educators, Dr. Sperry met with the Minster of Education, the Minister of Health, and other important interlocutors. Dr. Sperry plans to continue the NAC’s relationship with Oman, and develop a strategic plan for ensuring Oman’s autistic children have the services they need.

Dr. Cynthia Anderson consults with a local physician on strategies for early identification of children with Autism.

Dr. Cynthia Anderson consults with a local physician on strategies for early identification of children with Autism.

Meeting the Decision-Makers

In addition to the training, Dr. Sperry met separately with Education Minister Madiha Al-shaibiniya and Health Minister Ahmed Al-Saidi. The doctor committed to drafting a strategic plan for taking the next steps, by drafting a comprehensive, multi-year, prioritized proposal that would identify important areas of collaboration for the Ministries of Education, Health, and Social Development.

We look forward to continuing to support children with autism in Oman, and providing whatever expertise, knowledge, and resources we can to empowering Omanis to better serve their autistic population.