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We are building capacity in autism care for the UAE and beyond.
At The Doris Duan-Young Autism Center, parents are reassured of comprehensive autism care that brings together clinical, therapeutic, and social disciplines.
Our one-stop approach has been carefully designed to maximize wellbeing and safety.
When we designed the Observation Room, we considered two main aspects. One, to encourage parents to view the Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) program therapy session through a one-way mirror, watching the therapy in progress so they can better manage their child in a home setting. (In a one-way mirror, the child will see only his/her reflection.) Two, to assure optimal effectiveness of the training with minimal distraction during therapy as the presence of parents in the same room – child and therapist – can affect the expected outcome. The sessions are recorded, enabling parents to relive moments. One of several memorable moments for us was when one of the parents heard their child speak for the first time.We received the 2019 award for innovation at the Dubai Healthcare City Authority Excellence Awards for our Observation Room and its impact.
Our Sensory Development Center environment has fiber-optic illuminations, LED ball pit, bubble columns, vibrating bean bag chair, soothing aurora lights, sensory toys and more to help develop and enhance sensory skills. Individuals living on an autism spectrum disorder may find it challenging to process sensory information including texture, sound, smell, and movement. Our sensory environment helps children and young adults cope better.
Our Imagination Center makes use of extensive costumes for role play or pretend play. Our kitchen center, marketplace, and other simulation setups are designed to train individuals living with autism important everyday skills giving them the building blocks of independent living while enhancing creative thinking. Role playing as an intervention tool provides a safe environment to develop and practice communication and social skills, helping prepare an individual for a social interaction in an unfamiliar setting. Skills are practiced by acting out a social situation such as how to buy and prepare food in a simulated setting as part of therapy.
Our Media Center and Group Play Center is an environment where children and young adults are trained to practice social skills through activities like video games, watching movies, dancing, singing to Karaoke or climbing a rock wall. Developing skills such as communicating with others, listener responding, parallel play, cooperative play, responding and engaging in group activities will help the learner on an autism spectrum disorder to function. Play intervention strategies are linked to social skills, creativity and imagination. In this center, we use various methods to develop communication and social skills and reduce challenging behaviors.
Our Verbal Behavior Milestones Assessment and Placement Program (VB-MAPP) Clinic is dedicated to assessments, and measures verbal behavior, guides therapy approach, and evaluates progress over the course of a therapeutic program. As an industry standard, the VB-MAPP is a five-component program that assesses 24 common learning and language skills; identifies possible interfering behaviors; measures skills necessary for learning; analyzes and tracks various skills (approximately 900 skills); and provides specific direction for each milestone.
We integrate technology across our treatment plans to maximize acquired skills, and an example of this is The Magic Carpet, a 3D immersive technology. Through its interactive projection system and customizable applications, we use this in different settings such as education, calming sensory application, rehabilitation, mainstream learning, social skills, group responding, speed and dexterity, visual performance, and concentration. It also helps create a motivating environment to increase the opportunities of learning and progress.
Our Emergency Call System, a risk management approach, alerts supervisors and case managers about an emergency happening inside any area / room to provide immediate support and / or first aid assistance. In an emergency, at a press of a button a therapist can activate the system, which in turn sends out relevant alerts – to the supervisor, lights up a red sign outside the therapy area, and alerts the reception area. Challenging behaviors experienced by individuals living with an autism spectrum disorder can turn into emergency situations – examples harmful behavior (to an individual or people around him or her), and destructive behavior.
Several children and adults living autism and other developmental disorders could have dysfunctional sensory systems. They may find it difficult to respondto what they see, hear, taste, smell, and touch. A few may have fearful reactions to movement activities such as swings, slides, and trampolines. Whereas others may seek vestibular inputs as seen by excessive jumping and/or spinning. To help such individuals with their concentration, communication and learning our Occupational Therapy room provides a safe environment.
The Sensory Pods are a futuristic calming space that can be used by both children and adults, and can be beneficial to help reduce stress.