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Recognizing Autism: Roles and Responsibilities of General Health Practitioners

The Pakistan Institute of Living and Learning (PILL), in collaboration with the Department of Psychology at Foundation University Islamabad (FUI), hosted a Virtual Symposium on "Recognizing Autism: Roles and Responsibilities of General Health Practitioners" on October 20, 2021 from 10:00 to 12:00 hrs. as part of the Preconference events. Following the recital of the Holy Quran, Prof. Dr. Nasim Choudhry, PILL's Chief Executive Officer, cordially welcomed and thanked all of the Keynote speakers for taking the time to speak about Autism, which is rapidly becoming a global neurodevelopmental disorder. The session was moderated by Dr. Nadia Shafique from FUI and Ms. Zaina Imam from PILL. Prof. Dr. Zainab Zadeh, Clinical Psychologist, Manchester Global Foundation, UK, Professional Scientist and Head Child and Adolescent Mental Health at Pakistan Institute of Living and Learning, presided over the discussion. Prof. Dr. Shazia Maqbool, Chair of Developmental & Behavioural Paediatrics, University of Child Health Sciences & The Children's Hospital, Lahore, Pakistan, stated that Autism has become a household name as a result of its rising prevalence. With the use of videos, she thoroughly described the signs of Autism and other related challenges. Our second Keynote Speaker was Dr. Azra Raque, Consultant Developmental Paediatrician talked about Autism Surveillance and Management in primary care. Dr. Manusr Choudry a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) is a Director of Autism Clinic, at Special Care, a NAEYC (National Association for Education of Young Children) and Assistant Professor at University of Central Oklahoma, USA spoke about the use of behavioral strategies to help children with Autism improve their social and communication skills. Dr. Sajjad Siddiqui, the fourth and the final Keynote speaker spoke on the potential benefits and adverse effects of Psychotropic Medications used in Autism. Doctors, speech pathologists, occupational therapists, students, and FUI staff members were among the 44 people who attended the symposium. Prof. Dr. Tanvir Akhtar, Head of the Department of Psychology, concluded by thanking all of the Keynote Speakers, the Session Chair, and the Attendees.


The Foundation University Islamabad (FUI), a project of Fauji Foundation was established under a federal charter in October 2002. The University's programmes of study have been duly accredited by Higher Education Commission (HEC), National Computing Education Accreditation Council (NCEAC), Pakistan Engineering Council (PEC), College of Physicians and Surgeons of Pakistan (CPSP) and Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PM&DC).