Sunday, 15 Rajab 1439 AH - 1 April 2018 AD 4:00 PM-5:40 PM Main Auditorium

Session moderator : Dr Samira Al Ghamdi


1- O-34 : Sensing Technologies for Autism Spectrum Disorders

Speaker: Dr Mohammad Al Dosari

Time: 4:00 PM-4:20 PM

Dr. Mohammed Aldosari,

Consultant Pediatric Neurologist, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland , Ohio

Clinical Assistant Professor, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio, USA


Dr. Mohammed Aldosari holds a joint appointment at the Center for Pediatric Neurology at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation and Case Western Reserve University, both in Cleveland, Ohio, USA. He specializes in the evaluation and management of pediatric behavioral disorders especially Autism and ADHD and collaborates closely with Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Autism. Prior to joining the Cleveland Clinic, Dr. Aldosari established and directed the Center for Autism

Research, Riyadh , Saudi Arabia which is a novel collaborative venture between the King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center and the Saudi Basic Industries Company (SABIC) commissioned to transfer knowledge and technology to Saudi Arabia and the region. He also directed autism clinics at several private and public institutions. Dr. Aldosari is American Board certified in Pediatrics and in Child Neurology. He has multiple publications and presentations in national and international journals and meetings in the field of autism especially in genetics and innovative technology including sensing technologies and robotic-assisted therapy. He is the principle investigator of several ongoing studies including a large prevalence of autism study and developing Arabic stimulus for Eye Tracking.


Sensing Technologies for Autism Spectrum Disorder-Screening and Intervention


This presentation reviews the state-of-the-art in sensing technologies developed for the screening and therapy for Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Since early and intensive interventions have been shown to improve the developmental trajectory of the affected children, the earlier the diagnosis, the sooner the intervention therapy can begin, thus, making early diagnosis an important research goal. Technological innovations have tremendous potential to assist with early diagnosis and improve intervention programs. The need for careful and methodological evaluation of such emerging technologies becomes important in order to assist not only to therapists and clinicians in the selection of suitable tools, but also to the developers of the technologies in improving hardware and software. In this presentation, we review sensing technologies for ASD and examine the opportunities and challenges faced by this growing field. We focus on the Cleveland Clinic experience with one of these technologies, Eye Tracking, as well as pilot work on introducing video-assisted remote diagnosis and intervention.

2- O-35 : Robots as a therapeutic tools: encouraging communication and social interaction
skills in children with autism

Speaker: Dr. Ben Robins

Time : 4:20 PM-4:40 PM

Dr. Ben Robins
Senior Research Fellow, School of Computer Science
University of Hertfordshire, UK.

Dr Robins’s qualifications and many years of work experience lie in two disciplines:
Computer Science (since 1980) and Dance Movement Therapy (since 1992). Ben
completed his PhD research degree in the school of Computer Science at the University
of Hertfordshire, focusing on assistive technology for children with autism, bringing
together his expertise and experience in these two disciplines. Ben has over 45 scientific
publications, including book chapters, articles in scientific journals and in international
conferences proceedings. His publications have won several best conference paper
awards.Ben’s research, which started in 2002 in the AURORA Project and continued in
the FP6/7 European projects IROMEC and ROBOSKIN, investigates the potential use of
robots as therapeutic or educational tools, encouraging basic communication and social
interaction skills in children with autism. His current work, part of the Horizon2020
BabyRobot project and the KASPAR project, is further investigating robot-assisted
therapy and continues the development of the KASPAR robot as a therapeutic and
educational tool (http://kaspar.herts.ac.uk). This includes running several long term
studies with KASPAR and children with autism in families’ homes and in collaboration
with schools and medical centres internationally. In recent years Ben was program co-
chair, committee member and special session organiser in several international
conferences and has been an invited speaker in workshops, seminars and symposiums
in various countries.

Robots as a therapeutic tools: encouraging communication and social interaction
skills in children with autism

Our research investigates the potential use of robots as tools to encourage
communication and social interaction skills in children with autism. The talk will present
several robots including the child like robot KASPAR which was developed at the
University of Hertfordshire, UK, and the ways in which the robots can engage autistic
children in simple interactive activities such as turn-taking and imitation games, and how
the robots assume the role of social mediators - encouraging children with autism to
interact with other people (children and adults). KASPAR has been designed to help
teachers and parents support the children in many ways. The talk will present several
case study examples taken from the work with children with autism at schools, showing
possible implementation of KASPAR for therapeutic or educational objectives. These
case studies show how the robot can:
* helps to break the isolation
* encourages the use of language,
* mediates child-child or child-adult interaction,
* helps children with autism manage collaborative play,
* compliments the work in the classroom
* provides the opportunity for basic embodied and cognitive learning, resulting in
the emerging awareness of cause and effect.

3- O-36 : Increasing the capacity to serve of diagnostic professionals

Speaker: Dr Christopher Smith

Time: 4:40 PM-5:00 PM

Dr Christopher Smith

Psychologist / Vice President and Director of Research

Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center


Christopher J. Smith is experimental psychologist with expertise in phenotyping complex psychiatric disorders for research purposes. He was an assistant professor in the department of psychiatry at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York and maintains an active faculty appointment. Currently he is vice president and director of research at the Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center in Phoenix, Arizona and maintains an adjunct faculty appointment at Arizona State University.  He has authored many publications in schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s disease, but in the past decade has concentrated on autism. Much of his research focuses on improving screening, detection, and diagnostic methods for autism and is either principal or co-principal investigator on numerous research grants to address issues related to this process.

Increasing the capacity to serve of diagnostic professionals

The population rates of autism spectrum disorder have increased significantly in the past few decades and has taxed the professional community. In that same period, technology has improved the efficiency and revolutionized many other industries. Technology has yet to  impact diagnostic and treatment professionals in a way that would significantly increase their capacity to serve without compromising excellence in delivery. Telehealth presents an opportunity to expedite the diagnostic process. This project compared a novel telehealth diagnostic approach that utilizes clinically-guided in-home video recordings to the gold standard in-person diagnostic assessment.   Participants included 40 families seeking an ASD evaluation for their child and 11 families of typically developing children. All families completed the Naturalistic Observation Diagnostic Assessment (NODA) for ASD, which was compared to an in-person assessment (IPA). Agreement between the two methods, as well as sensitivity, specificity, and interrater reliability were calculated for the full sample and the subsample of families seeking an ASD evaluation.Diagnostic agreement between NODA and the IPA in the full sample was 88.2% (kappa = 0.75), and 85% (kappa = 0.58) in the subsample. Sensitivity was 84.9% in both, while specificity was 94.4% in the full sample and 85.7% in the subsample. Kappa coefficients for interrater reliability indicated 85 to 90% accuracy between raters. NODA relies on telehealth technology for families with concerns about their children to share diagnostic information with professionals, and provides a method for extracting information necessary to inform clinical judgment for a diagnosis of ASD.  Due to the high level of agreement with the IPA in this sample, NODA has potential to improve the efficiency of the diagnostic process for ASD.

4- O-37 : Clinical practice guidelines approach to Attention deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD): the official statement endorsed by the Saudi ADHD Society

Speaker: Dr Turki Al Batti

Time: 5:00 PM-5:20 PM

Dr. Turki H Albatti

Consultant in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Head of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Unit

Collage of Medicine - King Saud University



  • University of Michigan Fellowshipin Childrenand Adolescents Psychiatry 2010,USA
  • Arab Board of Psychiatry 2007
  • Saudi Board of Psychiatry 2006
  • Graduate of the Faculty of Medicine ,King Saud University 2001


  • Consultant specialized in King Fahd Medical City 2007-2013
  • Consultant in the Faculty of Medicine ,King Saud University 2013-2017
  • Consultant collaborator King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center 2014-2015
  • Assistant lecturer of the Faculty of Medicine ,Imam Muhammad bin Saud Islamic  University 2012-2014
  • Assistant lecturer,Faculty of Medicine,Qassim University 2011-2013
  • Consultant in the Saudi ADHD Society
  • Member of the Scientific Committee at the developmental and behaviour Disorders center in the Saudi Health Council
  • Chairing the scientific team to develop criteria for the diagnosis and treatment of ADHD in Saudi Arabia
  • Member of the Scientific Committee of the Society of Families of Autistic Charity
  • Member of the Scientific Committee for the establishment of afellowship of psychiatry for children and adolescents in the Saudi Commission for Health Specialties
  • Founder of the first clinical Early Intervention Program for Autism 2014-2017


Clinical practice guidelines approach to Attention deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD): the official statement endorsed by the Saudi ADHD Society

 ADHD is a chronic developmental neurodegenerative disorder in which the child is born and often persisted until he or she is older. A high level of hyperactivity with impulsivity and attention deficit may occur individually or appear in one person compared to normal developmental stages and may cause problems

The disorder has an effective and successful treatment and includes pharmacological, behavioral and educational treatment. 


What is the need for the draft consolidated guide?

There are many different guides in a number of countries in the developed world, describing the problem and how to deal with them in terms of diagnosis and treatment, if we take, for example, the scientific evidence for diagnosis and treatment in America and Britain and the differences between them America depends on the treatment often on the insurance companies and systems vary and experience It is natural that the manual is compatible with the state systems in general and in Britain, the state generally provides almost free treatment and availability, and there are means of diagnosis and treatment different from America as mentioned above, it shows some differences in The medical evidence It is worth noting that many doctors in the Middle East, including Saudi Arabia, have no knowledge or knowledge of the disorder and how to deal with it to solve the problem, but often dealing with the symptoms resulting from the disorder and treatment only so it is imperative for the Society to contribute to finding a solution To this problem as one of the competent authorities with this disorder

5- O-38 : The Journey from diagnosis to services: A survey of over 293 parents of children with autism spectrum disorder in the Saudi Arabia

Speaker: Dr Fahad Alnemary

Time : 5:20 PM-5:40 PM

Dr Fahad Alnemary

Assistant Professor of Special Education

Taif University

He is a graduate of the CSULA/UCLA Joint Doctoral Program in Special Education. Over the last 13 years, Fahad Had been working with children with developmental disabilities and their families in multiple sittings such as, schools, clinics, and homes. His roles included early interventionist, behavioral therapist, clinical supervisor, and consultant. Fahad’s research areas of interest are in early childhood special education, examining the effects of policies and resources on services for people with autism spectrum disorder and the understanding of autism in the Arab World. He has published six articles in referred journals and made 14 presentations at professional conferences.

Fahad has earned several awards including: a graduate student funding from King Faisal Specialist Hospital & Research Centre, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (2015, 2017); King Salman Center for Disability Research Award, International Conference on Disability and Rehabilitation, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (2014); and a fellowship from the UCLA Graduate Division (2013, 2015, 2016, 2017).


The Journey from diagnosis to services: A survey of over 293 parents of children with autism spectrum disorder in the Saudi Arabia

Fahad Alnemary*; Faisal Alnemary*; Alanood Al Saud**; Moneer Zakaria**;  Abdullah Alotaibi **; & Hesham Aldhalaan**


Despite tremendous efforts to advance services of people of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in Saudi Arabia, systematic information about experiences and opinions attaining the ASD diagnosis and accessing services for their children is lacking.


To describe parents experiences and opinions attaining the ASD diagnosis for their children as well as the use of early intervention services in Saudi Arabia.


A sample of 293 parents of children with ASD completed an online survey from March to June, 2017.


The results revealed that the median age of the child when parents first noted atypicalities was 2.0 years. The median of the delays that parents experienced before they sought professionals help and to attain the diagnosis for their child were 0.3 years and 0.5 years, respectively. Just over one of third of parents were satisfied with the overall diagnostic process. Satisfaction was linked with higher perceived collaboration with professionals, higher perceived helpfulness of received information, higher perceived helpfulness of post-diagnosis support, lower household income, and shorter delay to attaining the diagnosis for those who live in a major city. The median age of treatment initiation was 3.8 years. More than 16% of children received no early intervention (ASD interventions prior school age) and more than a half of those who accessed such services received 3 to 6 hours per week. Earlier age of treatment initiation was associated with earlier age of diagnosis, earlier age when parents first sought professionals help, lower severity of child ASD symptoms, residing in a major city, and younger child’s age. Higher number of early intervention hours received per week was only associated to higher household income, rather than with child characteristics.


Findings provide a valuable picture of an important group of families affected by ASD in Saudi Arabia, pointing the need to increasing ASD awareness and mandating early identification and intervention services in Saudi Arabia. National efforts for conducting research are needed to better understand and manage the access and use of diagnostic and therapeutic ASD services.

*Taif University

** Center for Autism Research, KFSHRC