The Minister of Human Resources and Social Development, Eng. Ahmed Al Rajhi and the Governor of SAMA DR. Ahmed Alkholifey inaugurated on Sunday Rabi’ I, 22nd , 1442H corresponding to November 8th, 2020, the opening ceremony of the Autism Center of Excellence (ACE) which was not possible without collective social responsibilities efforts and cooperation among the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development, the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority and the generous support of Saudi banks. The ribbon-cutting ceremony that was held in Riyadh, in the presence of their Excellencies and banks’ representatives applied the highest standards of health safety and preventive measures adopted by the Kingdom and confirmed by the Ministry during the Corona pandemic "Covid-19". It is worth mentioning that the center opened in January 2020 for a pilot operating phase during which cases were accepted, technical and administrative staff were recruited, and strategic plans were developed for the growth of the center in the coming years.
The ceremony started with cutting the ribbon, followed by an introductory tour to the center’s facilities. The ACE emphasizes that the pilot operating phase did not affect its outputs and activities, yet it achieved great virtual success, the most prominent of which is: the provision of more than 800 treatment sessions remotely within the program “I train my child”. More than 72 hours of awareness lectures and training sessions were provided to more than 2,300 people. The ACE participated also in a global study beside more than 60 participants from 30 countries around the world related to the effects of Corona pandemic (Covid-19) on people with special needs and their families. Not to mention that during the pilot phase, the ACE has launched its account on the volunteer platform, in addition to approximately 984 hours of training for many volunteers in different fields. Moreover, the center is keen to activate its role in scientific research through holding scientific sessions on the future of evidence-based therapeutic interventions for people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), with Saudi and international experts.
The ACE seeks to become a leading independent legal entity in the field at the regional level through its services, by applying the planned goals. This includes goals such as providing and modeling rehabilitation services, contributing to conducting research studies in the field of autism spectrum disorder, developing professionals, in addition to support families by raising community awareness about ASD, vocational rehabilitation (VR) and provide a model for housing solutions for them.
To achieve these goals, which serve individuals with ASD and help integrate them into society, the ACE works to attract qualified experts and specialists in the field according to the highest international standards and experiences.