Advertisement

An Overview of Autism and Applied Behavior Analysis in the Gulf Cooperation Council in the Middle East

  • Michelle P. Kelly
  • Ingy Alireza
  • Heather E. Busch
  • Sarah Northrop
  • Mohammad Al-Attrash
  • Susan Ainsleigh
  • Nipa Bhuptani
Review Paper

Abstract

Despite the fact that autism is on the rise, there is paucity in the literature examining the treatment of autism in the Middle East and specifically the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). The current review investigates the past, present, and future status of interventions for autism based on Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) in the six countries of the GCC, namely the Kingdom of Bahrain, the State of Kuwait, the Sultanate of Oman, the State of Qatar, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. The aims of this paper were to provide a brief overview of autism and ABA clinical services and educational opportunities and to investigate the relevant research published from each of the six states of the GCC.

Keywords

Applied Behavior Analysis ABA Intervention Evidence-based practice Middle East Gulf 

Notes

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

References

  1. Adams, J. B., Audhya, T., McDonough-Means, S., Rubin, R. A., Quig, D., Gesis, E., & Lee, W. (2011). Effect of a vitamin/mineral supplement on children and adults with autism. BMC Pediatrics, 11, 111.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  2. Ainsleigh, S.A. (2009, May). Behavior analytic services for children with autism spectrum disorder in Saudi Arabia. Paper presented at the 35th Annual Convention of the Association for Behavior Analysis International, Phoenix, AZ.Google Scholar
  3. Al Ansari, A., & Al Dakheel, S. (2000). Effectiveness of social skills training for children with behavior problems: maintenance of skills. Bahrain Medical Bulletin, 22(2). Retrieved from: http://www.bahrainmedicalbulletin.com/june_2000/skills.pdf.Google Scholar
  4. Al Ayadhi, L. Y. & Halepoto, D.M. (2011). General characteristics of children with autism spectrum disorder at autism research and treatment center, King Saud University, KSA. International Conference on Medical, Biological and Pharmaceutical Science. Retrieved from http://psrcentre.org/images/extraimages/7.%201211313.pdf.Google Scholar
  5. Al-Adawi, S. (2006). Adolescence in Oman. In J. J. Arnett (Ed.), International encyclopedia of adolescence: a historical and cultural survey of young people around the world (pp. 713–728). New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  6. Al-Ansari, A. M., & Ahmed, M. M. (2012). Parental age. Risk of autistic disorder. Neurosciences, 17, 382–383.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Al-Ansari, A. M., & Ahmed, M. M. (2013). Epidemiology of autistic disorder in Bahrain: prevalence and obstetric and familial characteristics. Eastern Mediterranean Health Journal, 19, 769–774.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Al-Attrash, M. & Al Sheyab, M. (2015, May). An Arabic Verbal Behavior and Functional Skills Assessment for Individuals with Autism and other Developmental Disabilities (VBFSA IADD). Poster session presented at the 41st Annual Convention of the Association for Behavior Analysis International, San Antonio, TX.Google Scholar
  9. Al-Ayadhi, L. Y., Al-Drees, A. M., & Arfaj, A. M. (2013). Effectiveness of auditory integration therapy in autism spectrum disorders—prospective study. Autism Insights, 5, 13–20.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. AlBedah, A., Khalil, M., Elolemy, A., Elsubai, I., & Khalil, A. (2011). Hijama (cupping): a review of the evidence. Focus on Alternative and Complementary Therapies, 16, 12–16.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Al-Farsi, Y. M., Al-Sharbati, M., Al-Farsi, O. A., Al-Shafaee, M., Brooks, D., & Mostafa, I. W. (2011). Prevalence of autism in Oman. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 41, 821–825.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. Al-Farsi, Y. M., Waly, M., Al-Sharbati, M., Al-Shafaee, M., Al-Farsi, O., Al-Fahdi, S., Ouhtit, A., Al-Khaduri, M., & Al-Adawi, S. (2012). Variation in socio-economic burden for caring of children with autism spectrum disorder in Oman: Caregiver perspectives. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 43, 1214–1221.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Al-Gadani, Y., El-Ansary, A., Attas, O., & Al-Ayadhi, L. (2009). Metabolic biomarkers related to oxidative stress and antioxidant status of Saudi autistic children. Clinical Biochemistry, 42, 1032–1040.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. Al-Hemoud, A. M., & Al-Asfoor, M. M. (2006). A behavior based safety approach at a K Kuwait research institution. Journal of Safety Research, 37(2), 201–206.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. Al-Hilawani, Y. A., Koch, K. R., & Braaten, S. R. (2008). Enhancing services for students with mild disabilities in the Middle East Gulf region: a Kuwait initiative. TEACHING Exceptional Children Plus, 4, Article 1. Retrieved fromhttp://escholarship.bc.edu/education/tecplus/vol4/iss5/art1
  16. Al-Kandari, M. T. (2006). Parenting an autistic child in Kuwait: Kuwaiti mothers’ voice and experiences with children labeled autistic. Retrieved from School of Syracuse University, New York (doctoral dissertation).Google Scholar
  17. Almasoud, H. (2010). Services and support for individuals with autism: a comparative study between the UK and Saudi Arabia. College of Education, King Saud University. Retrieved from http://faculty.ksu.edu.sa/almasoud/DocLib29/.Google Scholar
  18. Almasoud, H. (2013). Educating students with autism spectrum conditions (ASCs) in Saudi Arabia: policy, practice, and provision for inclusive and special education. Retrievedfrom http://hananalmasoud.hubpages.com/hub/Educating-students-with-autism- spectrum-conditions-in-Saudi-Arabia
  19. Almulla, N. (2013). Diagnosis and management of a 7-year old child with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in Bahrain: a case study. International Journal of Scientific Study, 1, 33–37.Google Scholar
  20. Alqahtani, M. J. (2012). Understanding autism in Saudi Arabia: a qualitative analysis of community and cultural context. Journal of Pediatric Neurology, 10, 15–22.Google Scholar
  21. Alqassab, N. (2015). Middle East ABA. Retrieved from https://www.abainternational.org/constituents/chapters/non-us-chapter-details.aspxGoogle Scholar
  22. Al-Qassab, N. (2001). Saudi Arabia. Retrieved from http://saba.abainternational.org/grants/international-development-grant/nour-al- qassab/
  23. Alquraini, T. (2011). Special education in Saudi Arabia: challenges, perspective, and future possibilities. International Journal of Special Education, 26, 149–159.Google Scholar
  24. Alquraini, T. (2013). Legislative rules for students with disabilities in the United States and Saudi Arabia: a comparative study. International Interdisciplinary Journal of Education, 2, 601–614.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Al-Salehi, S. M., Al-Hifthy, E. H., & Ghaziuddin, M. (2009). Autism in Saudi Arabia: presentation, clinical correlates, and comorbidity. Transcultural Psychiatry, 46, 340–347.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  26. Al-Shammari, Z. (2006). Special education teachers’ attitudes toward autistic students in the autism school in the state of Kuwait: a case study. Journal of Instructional Psychology, 33, 170–178. Retrieved from http://www.freepatentsonline.com/article/Journal-Instructional-Psychology/157946273.html.Google Scholar
  27. Al-Sharbati, M., Al-Farsi, Y. M., Ouhtit, A., Waly, M., Al-Shafaee, M., Al-Farsi, O., Al- Khaduri, M., Al-Said, M., & Al-Adawi, S. (2015). Awareness about autism among school teachers in Oman: a cross-sectional study. Autism, 19, 6–13.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. Al-Yafee, Y., Al-Ayadhi, L., & El-Ansary, A. (2011). Novel metabolic biomarkers related to sulphur-dependent detoxification pathways in autistic patients of Saudi Arabia. BMC Neurology, 11, 139.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  29. Al-Zahrani, A. (2013). Prevalence and clinical characteristics of autism spectrum disorders in school-age children in Taif- KSA. International Journal of Medical Science and Public Health, 2, 578–582.Google Scholar
  30. Arabian Gulf University. (2010). Programs of college of graduate studies. Retrieved fromhttp://www.agu.edu.bh/english/colleges/grad_programs.aspx
  31. Ashkanani, A. G. (2000). An investigative study into the current understanding of autism and provision for autistic children in Kuwait. United Kingdom: University of Hull (unpublished doctoral dissertation).Google Scholar
  32. Association for Behavior Analysis International. (2015). Retrieved from https://www.abainternational.org/
  33. Autism Speaks. (2015). Retrieved from https://www.autismspeaks.org.
  34. Bahrain Society for Children with Behavioral and Communication Difficulties. (2015). R Retrieved from http://www.childbehavior.org
  35. Behavior Analyst Certification Board (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.bacb.com/
  36. Brown, J. (2013). The cultural appropriateness of inclusive education in Saudi Arabia: how useful are western ideals or concepts? University of Exeter (doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from https://www.academia.edu/8473865/Issues_in_Special_Needs_and_Inclusive_Education.Google Scholar
  37. Center for Autism Research (2014). Retrieved from http://cfar.kfshrc.edu.sa/HomeEnglish.aspx
  38. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2014). CDC estimates 1 in 68 children has been identified with autism spectrum disorder. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2014/p0327-autism-spectrum-disorder.html
  39. Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf. (2012). http://www.gcc-sg.org/eng/
  40. Eapen, V., Mabrouk, A. A., Zoubeidi, T., & Yunis, F. (2007). Prevalence of pervasive developmental disorders in preschool children in the UAE. Journal of Tropical Pediatrics, 53, 202–205.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  41. El-Ansary, A., & Ayadhi, A. (2012). Neuroinflammation in autism spectrum disorders. Journal of Neuroinflammation, 9, 265.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  42. Eldin, A. S., Habib, D., Noufal, A., Farrag, K. B., Al-Sharbatt, M., Badr, H., Moussa, A. E., & Gaddour, N. (2008). Use of M-CHAT for a multinational screening of young children with autism in Arab countries. International Review of Psychiatry, 20, 281–289.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. El-Hazmi, M., Al-Swailem, A. S., Warsy, A. S., Swailem, A. M., Sulaimaini, A. A., & Meshari, A. (1995). Consanguinity among the Saudi Arabian population. Journal of Medical Genetics, 32, 623–626.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  44. Elsabbagh, M., Divan, G., Koh, Y., Kim, Y. S., Kauchali, S., Marcin, C., & Fombone, E. (2012). Global prevalence of autism and other pervasive developmental disorders. Autism Research, 5, 160–179.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  45. El-Tarras, A. E., Awad, N. S., Mitwaly, N., Alsulaimani, A. A., & Said, M. M. (2012). Association between polymorphisms of SLC6A3 and DRD1 genes and autism among Saudi Arabia Taif population using PRC-restriction fragment length polymorphism. African Journal of Biotechnology, 11(54), 11665–11670.Google Scholar
  46. Emirates College for Advanced Education. (n.d.) Retrieved from http://www.ecae.ac.ae
  47. Emirates News Agency. (2015). Complementary medicine witnessing growth in UAE with more than 200 registered practitioners. Press release. Retrieved from: http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395275403443.html
  48. Faras, H., Ateeqi, N., & Tidmarsh, L. (2010). Autism spectrum disorders. Annals of Saudi Medicine, 30, 295–300.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  49. Fatany, S. (2009). Saudi challenges and reforms. Cairo, Egypt: CPMR: Arab Center for Publications, Media, and Research.Google Scholar
  50. Fields, J. I. (1996). Aetiologies of autism: psychodynamic, pharmacological, and behavioural, related to Kuwait. Early Childhood Development and Care, 125, 27–51.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Frost, L., & Bondy, A. (2002). The picture exchange communication system training manual (2nd ed.). Cherry Hill: Pyramid Educational Consultants.Google Scholar
  52. Fuller, T. (2014, May). Behavior analysis around the world: current efforts in bringing our discipline to everyone. Paper presented at the 40th Annual Convention of the Association for Behavior Analysis International, Chicago, IL.Google Scholar
  53. Haimour, A., & Obaidat, Y. F. (2013). School teachers’ knowledge about autism in Saudi Arabia. World Journal of Education, 3, 45–56.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Hughes, V. (2011). Researchers track down autism rates across the globe. Retrieved from http://sfari.org/news-and-opinion/news/2011/researchers-track-down-autism-rates-acr oss-the-globe
  55. Hussein, H., & Taha, G. (2013). Autism spectrum disorders: a review of the literature from Arab countries. Middle East Current Psychiatry, 20, 106–116.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Hussein, H., Taha, G. R., & Almanasef, A. (2011). Characteristics of autism spectrum disorders in a sample of Egyptian and Saudi patients. Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health, 5, 2–12.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Japan International Cooperation Agency. (2002). Country profile on disability: Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Retrieved from http://digitalcommons.ilr.cornell.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article = 1233&context = gladnetcollect.Google Scholar
  58. Kaya, N., Colka, D., Albakheet, A., Al-Owain, M., Abu-Dheim, N., Al-Younes, B., & Ozand, P. (2012). A novel x-linked disorder with developmental delays and autistic features. Annals of Neurology, 71, 498–508.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  59. Keenan, M., Dillenburger, K., Röttgers, H.-R., Dounavi, K., Jónsdóttir, S. L., Moderato, P., & Martin, N. (2015). Autism and ABA: the gulf between North America and Europe. Review Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. doi: 10.1007/s40489-014-0045-2.Google Scholar
  60. Kelly, M.P. & Al-Haddad, M. (2014, May). ABA in Saudi Arabia: Dar al Hekma College BCaBA course sequence. Poster session presented at the 40th Annual Convention of the Association for Behavior Analysis International, Chicago, IL.Google Scholar
  61. Kelly, M.P., Tennant, L., & Al-Hassan, S. (2015, May). Autism treatments used by parents in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Poster session presented at 41st AnnualConvention of the Association for Behavior Analysis International, San Antonio, TX.Google Scholar
  62. Kuwait Association for Learning Difficulties (2014). Directory of the psychological service in the State of Kuwait. Retrieved from http://www.kaldkuwait.com/ContentPage.aspx?Goud8eGM+YNQVQwWp/LbTAbEjv0meIaNZTcRPpfPGUe8HhzZK7uHf6aBehidiqSQ
  63. Kuwait Center for Autism. (1999). 1st international conference in the Middle East on autism and communication deficits. February 14th-16th, 2000 (Kuwait). Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 29, 431.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Lord, C., Rutter, M., DiLavore, P.C., & Risi, S. (2000). Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS). Los Angeles, California: Western Psychological Services.Google Scholar
  65. Malott, M.E., Al-Qassab, N, Hayes, L., Marr, M.J., Johnson, K., Williamson, P. & R Richardson, S. (2003). ABA delegation works toward the establishment of behavior analysis in the Middle East. Association for Behavior Analysis International Newsletter, 26, p. 1–6. Retrieved from https://www.abainternational.org/media/7953/vol263.pdf.Google Scholar
  66. Mayberry, J. F. (2015). The need to develop a statutory regulatory body for the practice of Al-Hijama. Perspectives in Public Health, 135, 270–271.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  67. Ministry of Education. (2015). Education in the UAE. Retrieved from https://www.moe.gov.ae/English/Pages/UAE/UaeEdu.aspx
  68. Ministry of Social Development. (2014) Public rehabilitation centers statistics 2013. Manama: Ministry of Social Development.Google Scholar
  69. Morrow, E. M., Yoo, S. Y., Flavell, S., Kim, T., Lin, Y., Hill, R. S., & Walsh, C. (2008). Identifying autism loci and genes by tracing recent shared ancestry. Science, 321, 218–223.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  70. Mostafa, A. (2011) Addressing autism in the Arab world. Nature Middle East, 147; Published online 2 November 2011.Google Scholar
  71. Murshid, E. Z. (2011). Characteristics and dental experiences of autistic children in Saudi Arabia: cross-sectional study. Journal of Autism and Development Disabilities, 41, 1629–1634.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. National Autism Center. (2009). National standards report. Retrieved from http://www.nationalautismcenter.org/resources/
  73. National Autism Center. (2015). Findings and conclusions: national standards report, phase 2. Addressing the need for evidence-based practice guidelines for autism spectrum disorder. Retrieved from http://www.nationalautismcenter.org/resources/Google Scholar
  74. Ouhtit, A., Al-Farsi, Y., Al-Sharbati, M., Waly, M., Gupta, I., Al-Farsi, O., Al-Adawi, S. (2015). Underlying factors behind the low prevalence of autism spectrum disorders in Oman: Sociocultural perspective. Sultan Qaboos University Medical Journal, 15, 213–217.Google Scholar
  75. PECS- UK Resources. (2015). PECS training manual 2nd edition—Arabic version. Retrieved from http://www.pecs-unitedkingdom.com/shop/product_info.php/products_id/140
  76. Profanter, A. (2009). Facing the challenges of children and youth with special abilities and needs on the fringes of Omani society. Children and Youth Services Review, 31, 8–15.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  77. Qatar University. (2015). Retrieved from http://www.qu.edu.qa
  78. Rehman, A., Ul-Ain Baloch, N., & Awais, M. (2014). Practice of cupping (Hijama) and the risk of bloodborne infections. American Journal of Infection Control, 42, 1139.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  79. Reichow, B. (2012). Overview of meta-analyses on early intensive behavioral intervention for young children with autism spectrum disorders. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 42, 512–520.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  80. Robins, D., Fein, D. & Barton, M. (2009). The Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers, Revised with Follow-Up (M-CHAT-R/F). Retrieved from https://www.m-c chat.org/_references/mchatdotorg.pdf
  81. Ruddy, L., Booth, N., Gaw, M., Liao, Y., Dounavi, K., & Dillenburger, K. (2015). Autism in the air: using point of view video priming and natural environment teaching to help children with autism travel by plane. Good Autism Practice, 16, 25–32.Google Scholar
  82. Rutter, M., Bailey, A., & Lord, C. (2003a). Social Communication Questionnaire (SCQ). Los Angeles, CA: Western Psychological Services.Google Scholar
  83. Rutter, M., Le Couteur, A., Lord, C. (2003b) Autism diagnostic interview—revised. Los Angeles: Western Psychological Services.Google Scholar
  84. Salhia, H. O., Al-Nasser, L. A., Taher, L. S., Al-Khathaami, A. M., & El-Metwally, A. A. (2014). Systematic review of the epidemiology of autism in Arab Gulf countries. N Neurosciences (Riyadh), 19, 291–296.Google Scholar
  85. Samadi, S.A., & McConkey, R. (2011). Autism in developing countries: lessons from Iran. Autism Research and Treatment. Retrieved from http://www.hindawi.com/journals/aurt/2011/145359/Google Scholar
  86. Sartawi, A. M. (1999). Educational and behavioural characteristics of autistic children in United Arab Emirates. International Journal of Rehabilitation Research, 22, 337–339.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  87. Saudi Arabian Cultural Bureau. (2014). The King Abdullah scholarship program. Retrieved from http://www.saudibureau.org/en/inside.php?ID = 16.Google Scholar
  88. Saudi-US Relations Information Service. (2012). King Abdullah scholarship program: the Saudi Arabian educational youth stride. Retrieved from http://susris.com/2012/07/30/king-abdullah-scholarship-program-the-saudi-arabian- educational-youth-stride.
  89. Scull, N. C., Khullar, N., Al-Awadhi, N., & Erheim, R. (2014). A qualitative study of the perceptions of mental health care in Kuwait. International Perspectives in Psychology: Research, Practice, Consultation, 3, 284–299.Google Scholar
  90. Society for the Advancement of Behavior Analysis. (2015). Retrieved from http://saba.abainternational.org
  91. Sultan Qaboos University. (2014). http://www.squ.edu.om
  92. Taha, G., & Hussein, H. (2014). Autism spectrum disorders in developing countries: lessons from the Arab world. In V. B. Patel (Ed.), Comprehensive guide to autism (pp. 2509–2531). New York: Springer Science.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  93. Taylor, C., & Albasri, W. (2014). The impact of Saudi Arabia King Abdullah’s scholarship program in the US. Open Journal of Social Sciences, 2, 109–118.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  94. Weber, A. S. (2012). Inclusive education in the Gulf Cooperation Council. Journal of Education and Instructional Studies in the world, 2, 85–97.Google Scholar
  95. Western Psychological Services. (2015). Retrieved from http://www.wpspublish.com/app/
  96. Wong, C., Odom, S. L., Hume, K. A., Cox, C. W., Fettig, A., Kurcharczyk, S., & Schultz, T. R. (2015). Evidence-based practices for children, youth, and young adults with autism spectrum disorder: a comprehensive review. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 45, 1951–1966.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  97. World Population Review. (2015). United Arab Emirates population 2015. Retrieved from http://worldpopulationreview.com/countries/united-arab-emirates-population/.Google Scholar
  98. Yazbak, F. E. (2004). Autism seems to be increasing worldwide, if not in London. British Medical Journal, 328, 226–227.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  99. Zeina, R. M., Al-Ayadhi, L., & Bashir, S. (2014). Autism spectrum disorder: main problem waiting for solution in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. World Academy of Science, Engineering, and Technology: International Journal of Medical, Health, Pharmaceutical, and Biomedical Engineering, 8, 491–494.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michelle P. Kelly
    • 1
  • Ingy Alireza
    • 2
  • Heather E. Busch
    • 3
  • Sarah Northrop
    • 4
  • Mohammad Al-Attrash
    • 5
  • Susan Ainsleigh
    • 6
  • Nipa Bhuptani
    • 7
  1. 1.Counselling, Health and Special Education DivisionEmirates College for Advanced EducationAbu DhabiUnited Arab Emirates
  2. 2.Think Behavior and Development Center for ChildrenSaarBahrain
  3. 3.Applied Behavior Center of KuwaitKuwait CityKuwait
  4. 4.Voyage CareLichfieldUK
  5. 5.Shafallah Center for Children with Special NeedsDohaQatar
  6. 6.Jeddah Institute for Speech and HearingJeddahKingdom of Saudi Arabia
  7. 7.Autism Support Network—Abu DhabiAbu DhabiUnited Arab Emirates

Personalised recommendations