The Finsbury Park Mosque will host its second “autism hour” next Sunday to encourage places of worship to become more inclusive for autistic children, Islington Gazette reported.
Mosque chairman Mohammed Kozbar said: “Unfortunately, many places of worship do not have children with autism attend because it’s not easy to calm them. Not that they don’t want them to come but maybe because they don’t have the facilities.
“Some are runners, some scream – you have to provide a special quiet room or area. We are trying to make other places of worship aware of these things.”
The event comes in partnership with the National Autistic Society. It will include a guided tour of the mosque, a documentary on understanding special needs from a religious perspective, and a designated quiet space.
“Islam and other religions encourage us to show kindness to [autistic kids] and their families. They have the right to come and enjoy themselves like everybody else,” Kozbar said.
What Is Autism?
Autism is a developmental disorder characterized by troubles with social interaction and communication, and by restricted and repetitive behavior. The disorder’s signs usually get noticed in the first two or three years of a child’s life.
These signs often develop gradually, though some children with autism reach their developmental milestones at a normal pace and then worsen.
This disorder is a result of a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Risk factors include certain infections during pregnancy such as rubella as well as valproic acid, alcohol or cocaine use during pregnancy.
Autism affects information processing in the brain by altering how nerve cells and their synapses connect and organize; how this occurs is still not well understood.
Early speech or behavioral interventions can help children with autism gain self-care, social and communication skills. Although there is no known cure, there have been cases of children who have recovered from the condition.
Globally, autism is estimated to affect 24.8 million people as of 2015. It occurs four to five times more often in boys than girls.