Sesobel - Autism center - About Autism

Autism is Real, so is its Cost
Autism is Real, so is its Cost
Autism is Real, so is its Cost
Autism is Real, so is its Cost




What is Autism

Autism Spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by repetitive and characteristic patterns of behavior and difficulties with social communication and interaction. Parents usually notice signs in the first two years of their child's life.


The signs typically develop gradually, but some children with autism will reach their developmental milestones at a normal pace and then regress.


ASD occurs in every rational and ethnic group, and across all socioeconomic levels. The CDC (United States Centers for Disease and Control Prevention,2018) latest statistics estimate that 1 in 59 children has autism. Autism can affect boys four times more than girls. Scientist believe that both genetic and environment likely play a role in ASD. There is great concern that rate of autism have been increasing in recent decades without full explanation as to why. There is still much research to be done to determine the potential role of environmental factors on spontaneous mutations and how that influences ASD risk.


How is ASD ( Autism Spectrum Disorder) diagnosed ?

ASD symptoms can vary greatly from person to person depending on the severity of the disorder. Symptoms may even go unrecognized for young children who have mild ASD or less debilitating handicaps. 
Very early indicators that require evaluation by an expert include : 
_ No babbling or pointing by age 1 
_ No single words by 16 months or two-word phrases by age 2 
_ No response to name 
_ Loss of language or social skills previously acquired 
_ Poor eye contact 
_ Excessive lining up of toys or objects 
_ No smiling or social responsiveness

Later indicators include : 
_ Impaired ability to make friends with peers 
_ Impaired ability to initiate or sustain a conversation with others 
_ Absence or impairment of imaginative or social play 
_ Repetitive or unusual use of language 
_ Abnormally intense or focused interest 
_ Preoccupation with certain objects or subjects 
_ Inflexible adherence to specific routines or rituals

A comprehensive evaluation requires a multidisciplinary team , including a psychologist, neurologist, psychiatrist, speech therapist and other professionals who diagnose and treat children with ASD.


How is autism treated?

There is no cure yet for ASD. Therapies and behavioral interventions are designed to remedy specific symptoms and can substantially improve those symptoms. The ideal treatment plan coordinates therapies and interventions that meet the specific needs of the individual
Most health care professionals agree that the earlier the intervention , the better.

Early behavioral/educational interventions have been very successful in many children with ASD.

In addition, family counseling for the parents and siblings of children with ASD often helps families cope with the particular challenges of living with a child with ASD.

References: National Institute of Health - revised February, 2016



SESOBEL is a Lebanese Non-Governmental Association founded in 1976 to cater for the needs of children with motor and/or intellectual disabilities, as well as children with Autism.

Our mission is to assist these children, help their families, and generate social awareness to their needs and rights.

We welcome children from all regions regardless of their religion or socio-economic status. In 2018-2019, SESOBEL assisted 1404 children & youth, out of which 1002 were from the Outpatient Care Service, which welcomes any child in need for short-term temporary care (outside of the SESOBEL programs) through a network of therapists in all regions of Lebanon. We also strive to meet the complex needs of children with Autism and their families.


While there is no cure for autism, early intervention is critical and can greatly improve a child's development. 
In 1989, we started the early intervention program for children with Autism. Unfortunately, we have now reached the maximum capacity of our current building (we presently care for 75 children and youth with autism), thus hindering the proper implementation of our assistance program. Therefore, we urgently started building the new Autism Center in order to better satisfy the growing needs of our children with Autism.


SESOBEL is a Lebanese Non-Governmental association, state approved under decree No. 371/89, registered at the Ministry of Interior under the No. 42S1, and is a member of:

  • Rehabilitation International (RI),
  • The National Union of Intellectual Disabilities (NUID)-Lebanon
  • The International Cerebral Palsy Society (ICPS).


Some of SESOBEL's main partners

Partage, France 
Partage Nantes, Local Group, France 
Terre et Vie, France 
Les Petits Frères des Pauvres, France 
French Embassy, Lebanon 
American Friends of SESOBEL, USA 
Australian Friends of SESOBEL, Australia 
Lebanese Children Fund, Canada 
International Cerebral Palsy Society, UK 
Office National de l'Emploi 
Université St. Joseph

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