x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Autism: could be a musician

An autistic girl is developing through music at an early child intervention centre.

Dr Hibah Shata co-founded the Child Early Intervention Medical Centre in Dubai three years ago after struggling to find quality care for her daughter, Sarah Qutob.

But she says Sarah, now 6, has made great strides since then. Although she does not make conversation yet, Sarah can form sentences, read and write. She is a happy child who loves to compose music and play the piano, says Dr Hibah.

"She goes to the American Academy for Girls School, and we are working on her speech," says her mother. "She loves to swim and insists on doing so without floaters."

Only a few years ago, Dr Shata, a dentist from Jordan, doubted the quality of her daughter's care.

Today she is satisfied that founding the centre was the right thing to do. "It is a lot of work and commitment, but there is a good team. Sarah has very sensitive ears and block-building ability. She could end up becoming a musician."

* Bana Qabbani