Abu Dhabi - Post Report Question and Answers

What accommodations do schools make for special-needs kids?

I don't have first-hand knowledge, but a co-worker has a special need child and is happy with the accommodations here. - Feb 2020

Unfortunately, most schools lack much special needs support. From what I’ve heard, there are only three schools in town that have a good program. One of them is Repton, the other one is GEMS, but I unfortunately can’t remember the third one. I’ve heard mixed opinions about sending your special need kid to ACS. Some have been happy, some say it is almost none-existent. However, there are off-site developmental therapy services in English available in Abu Dhabi. - Jun 2019

This seems to be limited, you need to check with the school. - Sep 2017

Not many. There is a therapy center-- stars for special abilities-- which has a caring staff of OT, reading, special education, etc therapists who are very good with English and use modern therapies. It's the only game in town, however, so appointments are limited. For other needs like speech pathology, child psychologists/psychiatrists the American center for psychology and neurology used to be the only option (good therapists, horrible mgmt) but there are now more options for some services (speech therapy). If you are looking for true accommodation, I don't know where you'll find it though. - Jun 2015

From what I hear, a little at ACS and GEMS, almost none elsewhere. - May 2013

This can be a worry for expat parents because special needs are less consistenly supported than in national systems in the West. If your child comes to the UAE with a statement of special needs you will need to probe about provision before enrolling. If your young child starts school for the first time in the UAE, the diagnosis and quality of screening will vary from school to school. Some of the British curriculum international schools offer support for pupils with dyslexia or ASD. - Jul 2012

Check with the invididual school but culturally, not a lot of accommodation and there's stigma. - Jul 2011

From what I hear, what is available is mediocre at best. If parents are willing to make the effort, kids should be ok. - Nov 2010

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