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Effect of Social and Environmental Factors On the Prevelance of Autism in Qatar

Thursday, 2 May 2013: 09:00-13:00
Banquet Hall (Kursaal Centre)
F. Alshaban, Shafallah Medical Genetics Center, Doha, Qatar

The symptoms of ASDs typically are present before age 3 years and often are

accompanied by abnormalities in cognitive functioning, learning, attention, and sensory


A formal diagnosis is generally not made until the age of five.

The vast majority of cases of autism are idiopathic, the best scientific evidence

available to us today points toward a potential for various combinations of factors,

namely multiple genetic components and certain environmental and socio-economic

factors. Timing of exposure during the child's development (before, during or after

birth) may also play a role in the development or final presentation of the disorder.


To estimate the effect of certain socio-economic and other risk factors on the

prevalence of Autism in Qatar.


The target population for this study are children diagnosed with Autism attending the

Shafallah Center for children with special needs.

Clinical evaluation is conducted by a developmental psychologist, and/or pediatrician, it

includes a medical, developmental, and behavioral history; a standard physical and

neurologic examination, In addition, the Autism Diagnostic Interview (ADI-R), and

Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule-G (ADOS-G) will be administered.


Preliminary analysis of 171 subjects showed the highest prevalence among age group

7-14 years (61%).

Male/female ratio was 82% /18%, which is around 5/1.

Other factors like consanguinity,education,and family income found to have an effect

on the prevelance of the disease in Qatar.


Obtaining a reliable estimate is important in planning for providing the best health care

and educational services needed to improve the overall outcome of Autism in Qatar.

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