Autism Spectrum Disorders in Developing Countries: Lessons from the Arab World


The majority of research in the field of autism has been conducted in Western countries with readily available resources. In the developing countries and specifically in the Arab world, the field of child psychiatry is relatively new. Autism was not the subject of interest in the region until the late 1990s. Lack of awareness and culture as well as lack of resources contribute to the unmet needs of autism patients in the region. Tremendous effort is needed to raise the awareness of policy makers towards the need for implementation of services and research plans aiming to bridge the gap between needs and services. This chapter reviews the condition of autism in the developing Middle East Arab countries with special highlights on the prevalence and clinical status of autism. Also, lights will be shed on economic status, care provision, and research status of particular relevance to this developing Arab world.


Autism Spectrum Disorder Saudi Arabia Autistic Child Vocational Rehabilitation Arab Country 
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Psychiatry (WHO Collaborating Center for Training and Research), Department of NeuropsychiatryAin Shams UniversityCairoEgypt

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