Recommended UAE Special Needs (SEN) Resources

Recommended UAE Special Needs (SEN) Resources
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Specific Special Educational Needs Support Groups

The ADHD and ADD support Group welcomes all parents and carers of children with ADD/ADHD. The group meets regularly at Dubai British School. For more information email Rachel Jex at [email protected]

Downs Syndrome
All 4 Downs Syndrome Dubai supports parents and carers of Downs Syndrome children across the UAE. The group offers a 24 hour helpline and has a comprehensive list of contacts, schools and available shadow teachers for hire. For more information visit:

Dyslexia, Dysgraphia, Dyscalculia and Dysgraphia
The Dubai Dyslexia Group actively supports parents of children with dyslexia, dysgraphia, dyscalculia and dysgraphia. The group holds monthly meetings, regularly invites their UK based Educational Psychologist to assess UAE based children and has a wealth of information on UAE based schools and tutors. For more information contact: The Dubai Dyslexia Group, Tel: 050 652 4325, or email [email protected]


Special Needs Education  


The Al Noor Training Center for Children with Special Needs
Al Noor accepts children aged 3 to 18 years old.

The centre offers various therapies including: psychology, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, communication, language and speech autism Unit, research programme and vocational training unit. In addition it offers satellite programmes which include: Work Placement Supported Employment, Parent and Child Training (PACT,) Individualised Intervention Programme (IIP), Al Noor Social Club Summer Camp, International Award Scheme and Support of Parents at Al Noor (SPAN). The school is located in Al Barsha area, Dubai.  For more information visit: or call: 04 340 4844

The Dubai Center for Special Needs
The DCSN accepts children aged four to 18 years old.

Children are admitted through referral by a paediatrician, school, or private enrolment. The pre-nursery section encourages learning through play for four to seven year olds, while seven to 18 year olds focus on developmental skill areas such as self-help, social skills and safety. The centre has its own: physiotherapy, speech and language, medical and occupational therapy departments. The Dubai Centre for Special Needs is located on SZR, near Safa Park, Dubai.  For more information visit:

The Rashid Paediatric Therapy Centre
The Rashid Paediatric Therapy Centre works with children from birth to 18 years old.

The centre offers classes in both Arabic and English mediums for three to eight year olds and an early intervention programme for children from birth to five year old. The centre focuses on integrating therapies into the classroom while students are placed in classes according to their needs. The centre has specialist care in the form of physiotherapy, speech therapy and hearing impairment classes. RPTC is located in Al Barsha behind Mall of the Emirates, Dubai. For more information visit:, or call: 04 340 0005

Dubai Autism Centre
DAC offers, diagnosis, intervention, a family support club and various training programmes for those living with Autism Spectrum Disorders. The centre is located in the Al Jaffaliya area of Dubai. For more information see:

The Developing Child Centre
The DCC’s in-house nursery caters for children aged two to six years old. Classes are kept small with 10 children or less and two teaching staff per class, each with a team of multidisciplinary therapists. The centre aims to prepare children for entry into mainstream schools, and in 2014 alone, six children gained access to other schools. The DCC is located in Umm Suqeim, Dubai. For more information visit: or call: 04 301 1900

Child learning and Enrichment Medical Centre
The Child learning and Enrichment Medical Centre accepts children between the ages of three and 10. Parents can choose either English or Arabic medium of tuition and skills focused on include: maths, phonics, reading, handwriting, and spelling and other academic skills. The centre place a strong emphasis on inclusion and to date has seen several children move into mainstream schools. The After School Support Programme is available for children already in school, but still require regular top up tuition. In-house therapies include: psychology, occupational therapy, music therapy, physical therapy, speech and language and outpatient care. The centre is located in Jumeirah, Dubai. For more information call: 04 344 0737 or visit:


Abu Dhabi

Hamed Centre For Special Needs
The HCSN accepts children aged two to 16 years old.

The centre offers English language teaching only and specialises in behavioural and educational interventions with a focus on socially significant skills. The school aims to reduce inappropriate or competing behaviour such as non-compliance, tantrums or aggression. Programs are tailored to the needs of each child based on age-appropriate developmental progression. Although the website appears not to be operational yet, you can contact the centre on: 02 222 2046.

The Future Centre for Special Needs
The centre educates children from three to 14 years old.

Classes are taught in both Arabic and English mediums. Classes are based on the principles of applied behaviour analysis, and include habilitation/re-habilitation and vocational training. The centre offers physiotherapy, occupational therapy, psychology, a qualified medical nurse plus a suite of early intervention services. The centre is located Mohammed Bin Zayed City, Abu Dhabi. For more information visit: or call 02 553 3506.

The New England Centre
The centre is only available for children aged four to eight who are UAE nationals.

The New England Centre uses applied behaviour analysis and focuses on children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). The centre also offers training for teachers and parents in applied behaviour analysis. For more information contact: or call: 02 691 8888.

Stars for Special Abilities and Early Intervention Center
The center welcomes individuals from birth to adulthood.

Stars offers a complete set of therapy administered by qualified professionals in the following fields: Speech, Occupational, Psychomotor, ABA therapy as well as Special Education and Psychology. Trainings, activities, counselling are also part of the services offered. The sessions can be provided in English, Arabic, French, Portuguese and Hindi. The center was one of the first centers for special needs founded in Abu Dhabi 10 years ago and offers assessment, diagnosis, intervention, care coordination, family counselling and support/education for differently abled individuals. The focus of the Center is, as they note, "Quality and dedication to helping children and their families improve their lives." For more information, please visit and call: 02-4462048 and email [email protected]


Wilson Centre for Children
The centre accepts children from birth to 8 years old with a range of Special Educational Needs.

Utilising a traditional classroom setting, the centre offers several teaching models for children aged four to 18 years old, plus early intervention services for children from birth to six years.  There is also a multi-disciplinary team for assessment and diagnosis. Therapies include: occupational therapy, psychology, speech and language therapy, Sensory Integration Therapy and verbal behaviour therapy. To learn more, visit: or call: 06 538 3114

Manzil accepts children between the ages of four and 17 years old.

Programmes include: pre-education, general education, an adaptive daily living programme and various art and pre-employment schemes. Therapeutic services include: physiotherapy, speech and language therapy and occupational therapy. There’s also sport, horse riding, corporate activities and IT. For more information see:  or call: 06 534 7663.


Learning Support Programmes

Stepping Stones
The centre offers literacy, educational therapy and learning support services for children aged three and over.  However, some students may be asked to undertake an educational assessment before commencing any therapies or services. Support is in the form of either one-to-one or group work with resident educational therapists.

There are a variety of approaches on offer including Lindamood-Bell® Programs which stimulate basic sensory functions ideal for children with dyslexia, hyperlexia, autism, and other learning disabilities. The centre is located in Healthcare city, Dubai and can be contacted on either or 04 363 5433.

Learning Specialists

The Brain Workshop
Intense, targeted cognitive skills training designed to improve attention skills. Jumeirah, Dubai,

The Lexicon Reading Centre
The centre focuses entirely on children with learning difficulties, or as they call them at Lexicon, ‘children who learn differently.’ The centre runs various classes and workshops to help children develop and educators and parents to be better equipped. For more information see: or call: 050 795 4428.

The Brain & Learning
The centre uses the latest cognitive and nuero-scientific research to assist children in learning. Tecom 3, Dubai,
Parenting Support and Counsellors

This KHDA approved training centre and counselling services centre runs a series of courses aimed at helping teens. These include: Having a Positive Body Image, Positive Thinking for Teenagers : Taking off the Gloomy Glasses, Managing Exam Stress for Teenagers, Making Healthy Choices and Minimising Risk - Party Proof Teenagers and Self Esteem for Teenagers. Lifeworks is located in Wasl Rd, Umm Suqeim, Dubai. For more information visit:

KidsFirst Medical Centre
KidsFirst offers various courses for both children and parents. Workshops include:  quality parenting classes (PPP programmes) plus independence and hand writing courses for kids. In addition the centre offers various therapies including: psychology and counselling, occupational therapy, speech and language, physiotherapy and conventional paediatric care. Kids First Medical Centre is located in Umm Suqeim, Dubai. To find out more visit or call: 04 348 5437.

Parenting 4 Good (Arabic parenting skills workshop)
P4G Trainers,


Centres for Diagnosis, Therapy & Support 

The Child Early Intervention Medical Center
The CEIMC focuses on childrens’ development from birth to 18 years. Offering developmental and psychological assessments, therapy services, special needs support and a variety of programs for children who require early intervention in learning or behaviour. Departments include: counselling and psychology, applied behaviour analysis, occupational therapy, speech and language therapy, vision therapy, feeding therapy, social skills group therapy, a day learning programme, an after-school enrichment programme and a dyslexia programme.  The centre is located in Al Razi Building, Block B, Suite 2010, Dubai Health Care City, Dubai. 04 423 3667

Stepping Stones
The centre offers treatment and multi-disciplinary diagnosis and assessment for children and young adults across various areas of developmental and learning difficulties such as Pervasive Development Disorders/Autism Spectrum Disorders, Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorders (ADD/ADHD), Downs Syndrome, Speech & Language Disorders, Sensory Integration Dysfunctions/ Disorders and other related areas of need. Stepping Stones is located in Healthcare City, Dubai, 04-363-5433

The Developing Child Centre
The DCC offers multi-disciplinary assessments, educational psychological assessments and therapy and learning support assessments.  The centre prefers not to ‘label’ children and instead chooses to offer help in specialised areas, these include: nanny workshops, holiday camps, body awareness, food explorers, narrative skills, social skills, handwriting skills, vocabulary builders and jump starters classes. The DCC is located in Umm Suqueim Dubai. For more information visit:

The Infinity Clinic
The clinic offers Speech and language therapy. Located on Wasl Rd, Dubai. For more information see: or call 04 394 8994

Dr Rima Aboudan- UAE Dyslexia
Dr Aboudan is a psycholinguist who is licensed as a dyslexia diagnostician and therapist. She is also a licensed trainer in learning difficulties. You can contact Dr Aboudan at the Ayla Hotel in Al Ain or visit:


Psychologists and Psychiatrists

Dr Ruba Tabari - Educational Psychologist at Dubai Community Health Centre is available for educational assessments. The DCHC also offers psychiatry, clinical psychological therapies and assessment, general counselling, speech therapy and occupational therapy. or call: 04 507 8000.

Dr Nadia Taysir Dabbagh - Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist at Rashid Hospital, Dubai Health Authority. Contact the Rashid Hospital 24 hour hotline on: 04 219 2000.

Dr Shola Faniran - Developmental Paediatrician currently working at Child Early Intervention Med Clinic, Dubai. Contact:  04 423 3667.


Animal Activities
Riding for the Disabled- Dubai
Based at Desert Palm Equestrian Club, the RDA runs 15 therapeutic riding classes per week. There are 10 dedicated horses and a team of around 50 volunteers, although the group are always looking for new volunteers to help. For more information visit: Riding for the Disabled.

Animal assisted Therapy
Sense, a rehabilitative initiative based on animal-assisted therapy works in conjunction with Al Tamimi stables. Animal-assisted therapy has been proven to assist both children and adults in recovering from numerous health problems. It is effective in treating autism, cerebral palsy, attention problems and speech disorders. For more information contact Sense on Head Office, Dubai on: 04 279 6280 or Al Tamimi Stables, Sharjah on 06 743 1122.


Vocational Training

The Desert Group
An amazing initiative which sees young adults with Special Educational Needs flourish within the local gardening company. Since 2003 the group has been including young adults in their gardening programme, while more recently they have added leadership, teamwork and communication skills. See for more information.

Mawaheb beautiful people
This art project allows young adults with Special Educational Needs the space and time to explore their artistic abilities. Students can choose a minimum of one day per week or a maximum of five. Students choose between painting (all mediums), ceramic, mosaic, work experience in the lunchroom (voluntary arrangement), excursions around Dubai, art exhibitions, various art projects in Dubai and workshops. For more information see:


Abu Dhabi

Zayed Higher Organization for Humanitarian Care & Special Needs
This Government initiative has 12 centres around Abu Dhabi for special needs and humanitarian care.  The ZHO provides a range of integrated services to help rehabilitate and assist in encouraging inclusion into the community. These include: training and education, vocational and therapeutic rehabilitation, psychological care, family counselling, as well as numerous educational and sport activities. To contact the Zayed Higher Organisation see:


Al Ain

Amana Healthcare
The hospital runs a special needs education programme for children and young adults who require 24-hour medical supervision in a hospital setting. Visit for more information.


Further Reading
Dubai Special Educational Needs - Start Here
Dubai Special Educational Needs - School Inclusion, Is it Working?
Dubai Special Educational Needs - What are they and How to Spot Them
Dubai Special Educational Needs - Diagnosis and Assessment
Dubai Special Educational Needs - A Q and A with Diagnosis Specialists
Dubai Special Educational Needs - Occupational Therapy Q and A
Dubai Special Educational Needs - What is ADHD?
Dubai Special Educational Needs - Applied Behaviour Analysis
Dubai Special Educational Needs - Speech Therapy
Dubai Special Educational Needs - Specific Learning Difficulties
Dubai Special Educational Needs - Downs Syndrome
Dubai Special Educational Needs - Autistic Spectrum Disorder

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