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Celebrity cartoonists offer training to autistic children at Autismjo

By Fares Al Abed - Dec 27,2017 - Last updated at Dec 27,2017

Cartoonist Emad Hajjaj teaches autistic children drawing at a workshop organised by the Society for the Care of Gifted Autistic Children in Amman on Tuesday (Photo courtesy of Autismjo)

AMMAN — The Society for the Care of Gifted Autistic Children (Autismjo) held a workshop on Tuesday to teach autistic children drawing as part of a plan to introduce interactive art to the services the association offers to beneficiaries.

Opened under the patronage of Social Development Minister Hala Lattouf with the participation of renowned cartoonists, the two-day workshop aims at training children on painting and art expression skills as part of the therapy they receive.

The opening ceremony included the screening of a short film about the activities of the society, which focuses on training the mothers of autistic children to become specialised trainers of the their children and raising community awareness about autism.

In her remarks at the event, Lattouf highlighted the “great efforts exerted by the mothers in the first place”, and thanked the society for its role in taking care of children with autism.

She also stressed the ministry's willingness to discuss and support any workable ideas that would contribute to enhancing the supporting system of children with special needs.

Yousef Damra, president of the society, said that the workshop is only a part of the plan to unleash and sharpen the talents of autistic children with the help of celebrated Jordanian artists: Imad Hajjaj, Osama Hajjaj and Nasser Jaafari. 

"No words would describe how happy we will be if one out of those children became a creative person, following the steps of those talented artists," Damra expressed.

"Our children who have autism are just different. As long as we provide them with the right type of care, they will be able to integrate effectively into the community", he added.

Alia Abdul Salam, one of the mothers who benefit from Autismjo, addressed the meeting saying that autistic children need behavioural, functional, speech, physio- and psychological therapy. 

"I am certain,” she said, “that there are only few families who can afford the cost of such treatment to their children in our society and others; even some states cannot afford it".

Abdul Salam noted that she found what she wanted in the society, which is the knowledge and skills to communicate with her child, as every minute of the day can be a treatment session, adding that she has achieved a lot and her skills improved, so much as that she is now transferring this knowledge to other mothers.

 

For his part, cartoonist Emad Hajjaj said: "This participation is very important in dealing with autistic children, as art can make them happy and help them express their feelings."  

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