Autism Centers Refuse to Hire Specialty Staff Members

SaudiJeddah, Saudi Arabia- Secondary school graduates and a few specialized expatriates are being recruited by Autism centers in Saudi Arabia.  The autism centers are refusing to pay the high wage demand of the many specialists available.

Leena Seddeeq, special education professor at King Abdulaziz University, told Al-Hyat Daily News there are no basic standards established by the Ministry of Social Affairs. This lack of standard has prompted new autism centers to employ secondary school graduates rather than the higher priced specialty teachers.

Parents of some children diagnosed on the autism spectrum are sending their children to Jordan to receive specialty care and education.  The International Conference for Autism was held in 2007 and special education in Saudi Arabia fell behind European and some Arab countries by not implementing a program then.

At present, Seddeeq says, the government is attempting to implement some of the standards of other countries.  She still stress the need for strict standards to ensure staff carry licenses to practice.

The Jeddah Autism Society and Al-Faisaliah Center for Autism has organized training courses for newly established centers to raise the standards of their services so they are effectively providing for the needs of children on the autism spectrum.