Health center treating autistic children in Syrian Kurdistan calls for more support
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – A children’s health center in Syrian Kurdistan (Rojava) is calling on the ruling-administration to provide support to staff at the facility who are treating children with autism.
The children’s health center in Qamishlo, which provides aid for youth suffering from different types of mental and physical disorders, currently treats 13 patients who have autism.
According to the US-based Centre for Disease Control, autism is a developmental disability that can cause “significant social, communication, and behavioral challenges.”
Children in Rojava already suffer from different hardships, but youth with autism face an added challenge in their lives.
“Honestly, it is not a normal life. It is a heavy burden for the children. The disorder takes a heavy toll on the lives of these children,” a manager at the Qamishlo health center told Kurdistan 24.
“Our staff can handle taking care of the children’s demands, but we need help from specialists and experts who can properly treat these children,” she added.
April 2 marks World Autism Awareness Day meant to educate people in different countries about the issue, which some dismiss as a psychiatric illness or simply bad behavior.
However, autism is one of the fastest-growing brain disorders and affects one percent of the world’s population—an estimated 67 million people.
Staff at the health center say the children who have autism require a supervisor at all times, a demand that surpasses the capabilities of the facility.
There are only two children’s health centers in Rojava, one in Qamishlo and another in Tall Tamr, but no special facility to treat autistic children.