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February 21, 2020

KP to establish special school for autistic children

Peshawar

February 21, 2020

PESHAWAR: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Minister for Social Welfare, Special Education and Women Empowerment Dr Hisham Inamullah has announced the establishment of a special school for children suffering from autism.

Speaking at a consultative workshop on autism and inclusive approaches for persons with disabilities here on Thursday, he said children and affected by autism their families face issues with diagnosis and treatment of the disease. The minister announced to include the establishment of a Braille printing press in the next annual development plan. He said his department would take input from experts on such steps.

Dr Hisham Inamullah added that a social welfare advisory and implementation council would be notified next week. He maintained that the stakeholders in the council would help the department with formulating the policy. Secretary Social Welfare Department Muhammad Idrees hoped the workshop would help them with designing policy for persons with disabilities, and the establishment of centre of excellence in autism. He added that children with autism are not broken; instead, they just have a unique view of the world. An expert in child psychiatry and Associate Professor of the Population Health Sciences of the Shifa University Dr Ayesha Minhas in her presentation praised the government for taking a keen interest in child psychiatric issues. She said one out of five children in the country was facing some kind of mental health issues. She added not only the dependence on psychiatrist was needed to deal with psychiatric issues, adding training parents, teachers and other community members was required as well. Dr Ayesha Minhas described the most common symptoms of autism, as the problem with social interaction and communication, poor eye contact, delay in speech and conversation, repetition of words, and inability to understand simple questions. She stressed awareness sessions for parents to inform them about the symptoms of autism.