‘Most advanced autism center to open in Tehran’

August 2, 2018

TEHRAN – The most advanced center providing autistic children with proper services will be set up in Tehran, head of Arman Shayan rehabilitation center has said.

Arman Shayan rehabilitation center is a specialized center running by board of trustees affiliated to the Welfare Organization, which provides different services including physiotherapy, occupational therapy, auditory processing evaluation, speech therapy, optometry and technical orthopedics to the clients. The center also offers free rehabilitation services to the elderly and persons with disabilities.

The aforesaid center will offer treatment and support for children suffering autism completely free of charge, Fars quoted Keyvan Davatgaran as saying on Tuesday.

He also noted that the center is designed to support 60 autistic children and their families per day.

Treatment for children suffering autism costs nearly 10 million rials (about $238) per month, while all treatment services are free in this center, he explained.

“The center offers education for families, interventions for the nervous system and sensory dark room (a safe place providing a great variety of activities to help engage the senses), which will serve as the first multidimensional specialized center to provide services to patients suffering autism,” he concluded.

In a press release published by IRNA in late May, Mohammad Taqi Jaghtaei, an advisor to the Ministry of Health, said that it is anticipated that nearly 30,000 children under age five are suffering autism in the country, as prevalence is estimated at 1 in 250 births, and with 1.5 million births per year in Iran some 30,000 are possibly suffering autism, he explained.

Elsewhere in his remarks Davatgaran explained that it is planned to sign an agreement with health insurance organizations for the patients to receive services under insurance, to do so, a license issued by Ministry of Health is required.

So far, some of the required arrangements has been done in cooperation with medical sciences universities to receive the license in near future, he added.

In pharmacy department, people in need or suffering disabilities receive medicines with a 20 percent discount, he said, adding, also all MS patients under Iran MS Society coverage can gain free services in physiotherapy department.

The capacity of providing care for elderlies is also about 60 people per day, he also noted.

------------- Autism worldwide

Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are a group of complex brain development disorders. This umbrella term covers conditions such as autism and Asperger syndrome. These disorders are characterized by difficulties in social interaction and communication and a restricted and repetitive repertoire of interests and activities.

World Health Organization estimates that 1 in 160 children has an autism spectrum disorder worldwide.

Based on the Statista website, Japan was estimated to have the highest rate of autism worldwide with approximately 161 children per 10,000 with the disorder in 2017. The United Kingdom and Sweden come at the two second places for the high prevalence of autism spectrum disorder among children.

The center receives no funds from the government, Davatgaran said, adding that so, some of the departments has been delegated to the faculty members of the universities with the help of the judiciary.

“Patients under the Welfare Organization’s coverage receive free rehabilitation services, and those struggling financially can also receive services free of charge,” he stated.

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