Pediatrics & Health Research Open Access

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Prevalence, Trend, Determinants and Prediction of Autism Spectrum Disorders among Dubai Population, Diagnostic Approach and Management Contexts

Kadim Al-Abbady, Hamid Yahya Hessian and Mohamed Wasif Alaam

Background: Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is becoming a major threat, large public health challenge and most common persistent developing disorder to a public health in Dubai. Most of the families are facing lifelong challenge because of the different nature of disorders like neurodevelopment disorder, which often results in an array of motor impairments. These motor impairments are the main cause of decrease performance of activities of routine life as well as in societal tasks which require specific motor abilities and skills.

Aim: To study the prevalence’s, determinants and prediction of Autism among Dubai population. To study some associated factors.

Methodology: Retrospective records review approach has been applied; qualitative methodology has been focus on the groups with mental health experts working at: Dubai Autism Centre (DAC), Al-Jalila hospital (AJH), Latifa hospital, Private Sector Healthcare (PSH), Dubai Rehabilitation Centre for Disabilities. Quantitative methodology is based on the, Prevalence, incidence. Prevalence, incidence is associated on international research (a systematic research review) as estimated as well, along with expert interviews have been applied as well.

Results: The study showed that 84.9% of the cases were males and 51.9% of the autism cases were females, 30.9% were UAE nationals and 69.1% were expatriate, about 72.4% were diagnosed as Autism spectrum disorders, 9.2% as ASD features and 9.2% were diagnosed as other disorders. Dubai Autism Centre estimates that autism is affected 1 in 146 births (0.68%). By applying these estimates to the total number of births in Dubai for 2014, it was predicted that approximately 199 children of which 58 (29.1%) were nationals and 141 (70.9%) were non– nationals suffering from autism at the same stage. Some of the families of about 16.4% of children searching help for ASD assessment between the age group 6–18+. Most of the families are not going to consult GPs for early diagnosis because of the number of reasons including cultural reasons. So, it became critical to understand late– stage diagnosis as ASD can be diagnosed much earlier and how many of these later presenters are diagnosed with ASD. The study reflected future prediction of the cases based on international standards prevalence and the population density as reflected by the figure which reflected the highest prevalence at the age intervals of 25-29 years, 30-34 years and 35-39 years respectively.

Conclusion: Autism is still on-going challenging public health issue in Dubai, in terms of rising up prevalence, incidences, trends, cases sorting out and management context of autism is one of actual national health care system gaps. There is emergence need of the nurses who are qualified and have the experience to identify children with ASD which is required to implement in regular checkup of school health. Early diagnosis of Autism awareness is increased by giving training to GP’s. There is an urgent need of interdisciplinary innovative autism centre for adult when the children leave the safe environment of the school at 18 years. These needs are followed by further studies to cover take care of needed people with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).