H.H Chairman of the Royal Commission Inaugurates Down Syndrome Center Extension in Jubail Industrial City and Inspects Performance of work
HH Prince Saud Ibn Abdullah Ibn Thunayyan Al-Saud, Chairman of the Royal Commission for Jubail & Yanbu and Chairman of the Board of Saudi Arabian Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) visited last Thursday, 12.12.2006 Down Syndrome Center in Jubail Industrial City and inaugurated the Center's new buildings extension, and, in the meantime, inspected performance of work to see how far services rendered to Down Syndrome children had progressed. HH was accompanied by H.E Eng. Mohammed H. Al-Madi, SABIC Vice-Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Eng. Jassim A. Al-Hejji, the Director General of the Royal Commission in Jubail, and a number of Royal Commission and SABIC officials.
Vice-Chairman of the Executive Committee of Down Syndrome Center in Jubail Industrial City, Mr. Sami A. Al-Suwaigh expressed, on behalf of the Center and children and personnel, his pleasure and gratitude for this visit which reflects HH's concern in these beloved children, in addition to HH's directions to exert all efforts needed and use all resources available to provide best and first class services and whatever that may upgrade efficiency and standards of performance up to the expectations of the wise leadership that consistently rendered every support possible to such centers.
Al-Suwaigh mentioned the Charity Endowment Project for which the Royal Commission in Jubail had allocated a land plot of 3,000 square meters at the heart of the city commercial area to be invested in favor of supporting the center and enhance its financial resources.
On this occasion, the Center calls on businessmen to support this charity project that will contribute a great deal to expanding the Center's activities and services toward the disabled in the city. Mr. Fahd Al-Zamel, member of the Executive Committee, stressed the importance of supporting he Charity Endowment Project for Down Syndrome, and urged official entities, financial institutions, banks, and businessmen to support this project for the benefit of human and social development in the city, which is deemed one of the biggest industrial and economic cities in the Kingdom.
To that end, the people in charge of the Center are laboring to serve Down Syndrome children, since they require special care to be rehabilitated by specialists to enable them to overcome their different disabilities, hence, helping their families to take a natural and effective role in the community. Moreover, these children, after having been medically, socially and educationally rehabilitated, they obtain priority in receiving proper education and skills of intercommunication. The foundation of the Center was a result of human efforts by those in charge of the Royal Commission in Jubail, operating companies and businessmen to provide an integral educational, rehabilitation, and health services system for Down Syndrome patients.
Mr. Ahmad Ezzuddin, The Center Advisor pointed out that the Center had conducted several studies to develop services for the disabled in Jubail Industrial City. One of these studies focused on finding a comprehensive strategy to encounter the disability problem in Jubail, along with a detailed work plan for this strategy which was being realized with support from the Royal Commission in Jubail.
Another specialized study included an integral curriculum to produce a B. E, program in Special Needs Education at Jubail University College and Girls Education College which would by submitted and discussed with entities concerned.
The Center Director, Khuloud Al-Dubaikel said that the center rendered its services to (88) children now in different stages starting from the early intervention stage that included children from birth to four years of age, followed by special education stage covering children in kindergarten and school, and the vocational rehabilitation stage for girls. She added that the Center was also implementing a school merger program for (16) students from the Center to public schools and kindergartens.
She also said that the Center was implementing many academic and educational programs effectively which rapidly achieve the goals of the center. It included early intervention program which covered children from birth to four years of age. It is an academic and training program for Down Syndrome children, and their families in which a specialist provides psychiatric, educational and upbringing advice and guidance. The kindergarten children program is dedicated to children of 4-9 years of age. The program aims at training for acquiring independent skills, school preparation skills, in addition to a program concerned with behavioral reform, development of cognitive, sensory and movement aspects, and children program at school stage. It is concerned with children of 9-14 years of age. At this stage girls would be separated from boys and this section provided educational, academic, and training services suitable to teach children basic skills such as reading, writing and computer that commensurate with their abilities.
The Center also provides supporting activities and services such as outdoor activities, including physical education and picnics. These activities aim at developing and enhancing physical performance and acquiring intercommunication skills and dealing with others, and accepting team work, in addition to support rehabilitation support services, i.e., support services that help Down Syndrome children benefit from the special education programs such as (physiotherapy, functional treatment, parental and psychiatric guidance, evaluation and diagnosis, and treatment of articulation disorders), as these services are interconnected for understanding and treatment of Down Syndrome children. The Center also features an evaluation and diagnosis unit for admission purposes or for consultation in compliance with established criteria.
It is worth mentioning that Down Syndrome Center in Jubail functions under the umbrella of Jubail Charity Society, and is supervised by an executive committee which consists of Dr. Jassim Al-Ansari, member of Shura Council, Chairman, Mr. Sami Al-Suwaigh, President of Petrochemia Co., Vice Chairman, and two businessmen, Mr. Fahd Al-Zamel, member, and Mr. Ahmed Al-Khonainni, member.