Autism is a developmental disorder about which very little is known in Pakistan. Its prevalence rate appears to be increasing worldwide, with latest figures from the US indicating that at least one person out of 68 falls on the autism spectrum. The situation is alarming, especially since most people are unaware about autism spectrum disorder in Pakistan, and continue to classify persons with ASD as being intellectually challenged. It is therefore imperative to raise awareness about autism spectrum disorders among doctors all over the country, so that they can diagnose and assist families with children with autism spectrum disorder. ASD Welfare Trust is trying to create awareness among doctors and other professionals through seminars and workshops on different aspects of ASD, including etiology, epidemiology, diagnosis criteria, related learning disorders, and information about various interventions such as Speech Therapy, Behaviour Modification, Applied Behaviour Analysis, etc. The workshops for doctors are for three hours, including three lectures, discussions, tea and lunch.

ASDRC Autism Awareness Seminars

So far, we have conducted 60 Awareness Seminars for parents, teachers, health workers, government functionaries and non-government and community based organisations. These have been in Lahore, Multan, Faisalabad, Sahiwal, Sargodha, Okara, Jhelum, Gujranwala, Gujrat, Sheikhupura, Pakpattan, Hafizabad, Narowal, Bahawalpur, Toba Tek Singh, Chenab Nagar, Wazirabad, Chiniot; Karachi, Hyderabad, Sukkur, Nawabshah, Tharparkar, Amarkot, Mithi, Tando Adam, Tando Allah Yar, Mirpur Khas, Gambat, Dadu, Thatta, Jacobabad; Peshawar, Abbottabad, Hazara, Swat, Malakand and Quetta.

ASDRC Trainings:

Our engagement with students and teachers is strong and diverse: we have trained students of Departments of Psychology, Special Education and Medicine at universities of Sindh at Jamshoro, Kohi Goth Hospital, Karachi Medical & Dental College, Gambat Institute of Medical Science, GM Mehar Medical College, Sukkur, Iqra University, IBS Karachi, Federal Urdu University, St. John Homeopathic College in Karachi; Bahauddin Zakria University Multan, Islamia University Bahawalpur, University of Gujrat, University of Abbottabad, University of Hazara, Lahore College for Women University, Government College University, Lahore, Gift University Gujranwala, Gulberg and Chuna Mandi Colleges for Women, Lahore, LUMS, Benazir Bhutto Shaheed University Peshawar, University of Punjab, Pakistan Society of Family Physicians, Government College University, Faisalabad, Islamic University, Islamabad, National Institute of Special Education, Islamabad, University of Sargodha and Bolan Institute of Behavioural Sciences, Quetta. Online training sessions have also been held with many special and mainstream schools including Mehnaz Fatima Welfare & Education Organisation in Gilgit, Batool Special Education School and Desert Hawk School in Hyderabad, MA Ayesha Memorial, ACELP, PCA, Dewa Academy, Ujala Special School in Karachi, Amin Maktab, Rising Sun, Fakuka school for special education, Ali Institute, Turning Point, Fountainhouse, Lahore Lyceum, Bloomfield Hall School, Cathedral High School, Beaconhouse and Grammar School in Lahore and SAM Special Education Centre Abbotabad.

ASDRC In-house Trainings, Parents' Groups and Auitsm Talent Stories:

The ASD Welfare Trust has conducted about 200 Trainings in identification, assessment and management of Autism, ADHD and Dyslexia for parents, teachers and special educators in our Karachi and Lahore Training Centres. Many of these are now being conducted on line. In addition, we have formed Parents’ Groups in different cities of Pakistan which now independently carry out their own trainings and discussions for parents. Our Autism Talent Series conducted on line helps to give a voice to young persons with Autism and their parents.

ASDRC Special Events:

We organized online annual Regional Conferences on Autism in which Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Malaysia (ASEAN) and Philippines participated. We also regularly interact with regional organisations and parents’ groups for deeper collaboration and advocacy for appropriate changes in government policies and legislation, as well as developing employment opportunities and residential facilities for adults with Autism and related neurodevelopmental disabilities.