Disability And Autism Centers In The U.A.E –The Education Of Children Of Determination


The United Arab Emirates is a country of vision and innovation.  It is a country that looks toward forging achievements for all of its residents through positivist and resolution. The cutting edge U.A.E Government refers to individuals with special needs or disabilities as ‘people of determination’, a term designed to recognize their bravery and courage in the face of adversity.

To support and encourage continuous growth in services and resources for people of determination, the U.A.E Government have made bold and sweeping steps across all areas of education, health and industry to ensure that people of determination are empowered, protected and fully included in all aspects of society.

When it comes to education, the U.A.E Government have made nationwide efforts to mobilize resources to allow children of determination to be included in mainstream education where possible or to otherwise ensure that they have full access to state-of-the-art facilities, such as disability and autism centers, specifically designed for their needs. The aim for these measures is to ensure that no person of determination is marginalized by their conditions and that they have the same opportunities as other children and the resources that they need to maximize their inclusion.



School For All

“The youth should be equipped with science and knowledge as they are the sole, constant, dominant weapons in this life.”

 Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum

With such clear regard from the countries leaders for the significant importance of education, it is no surprise that one of the first federal laws to be passed in regards to the rights of people of determination was scholarly inclusion.

“Ministry of Education’s (MoE) strategy is to adapt public schools to facilitate education for people of determination. Accordingly, people of determination are entitled to enrol in any school, without exception. These students are catered for by Department of Special Education, which was established in 2008 by MoE. This Department promotes the rights of people of determination and ensures that they have access to the same educational opportunities as students in the regular education system.”



All schools in the U.A.E, in accordance with the law, are required to be inclusive and to have the resources to accommodate children of determination. There are also a number of specialist educational facilities to choose from outside of mainstream education. The ministry of education has established such support centres to assist in integrating children of determination into school, offering diagnostics, individual development plans, recommendations, parental support and therapeutic services.

To effectively support the diverse needs of children of determination to the exacting standards of the U.A.E Governing Bodies, both mainstream schools and disability and autism centres must have the appropriate resources and equipment to meet physical, emotional and learning requirements.

Making a school accessible to children of determination means having a variety of disability classroom furniture, disability classroom resources, sensory play equipment, occupational therapy equipment and SEN specialist sensory equipment, to name just a few minimal requirements.

Resources For Disability and Autism Centres And Mainstream Schools

In the education industry, student outcomes are one of the most important indicators of success. In a country that is forecast to become the pronounced global leader in education, competition for top results is staggeringly high. This is great news for students in the U.A.E’s educational system and wonderful news for children of determination, who all reap the rewards of classroom furniture and resources and sensory play and sensory learning equipment that is state-of-the-art.

Classroom design has a significant impact on learning outcomes and disability classroom furniture makes learning possible for a diverse group of students, as well as the mainstream learners.

Recent and comprehensive research has shown that classroom design can increase student engagement by up to 16%, positively influencing:

  • Active involvement
  • Collaboration
  • Enrichment
  • Focus
  • Constructive feedback
  • Physical movement
  • Role play
  • Exposure to diverse materials
  • Stimulation
  • Motivation

Disability Classroom Furniture

Children generally have fairly short attention spans and if they have autism, ADHD or other learning issues as well, then helping to keep them focused can be very challenging. Many children diagnosed with these disabilities also suffer from decreased muscle tone or a have a perpetual need for movement-based sensory input that looks a lot like fidgeting, slouching and distractedness, which makes learning even more difficult.

One minor adjustment that has major benefit to learning outcomes is the “active seating’ solution.   With minor adaptations, classroom-seating furniture can remove or alleviate the discomfort that comes with sitting dormant for extended periods of time.

Active seating comes in a variety of formats, such as therapy ball chairs, wobble chairs, air cushions, pillows and inflatable wedges and have been proven to promote constant slight movements that offer a myriad of benefits to learning.

Improve muscle tone – Frequent balance adjustments strengthen the core muscles and improve balance, which in turn, promotes muscle control across the whole body. This makes using classroom resources and focusing on tasks easier.


Increase blood flow around the body – Movement causes the heart to pump a little faster, increasing the blood flow to the extremities and improving oxygenation of the body. This burns off excess energy and boosts attention levels.


Increase multi-sensory input – Active seating allows children to move and adjust themselves in a non-disruptive way, offering multiple instances of sensory input. This motion also burns off excess energy and stimulates muscles, meaning that the children can focus more in class.

Disability Classroom Resources

To accommodate the special needs of children of determination in the classroom there are a few fundamental resources that are very important in helping children to balance their sensory system and be prepared for learning.


Visual Learning Tools – brain friendly learning means multi-sensory tools that reinforce the same learning outcome in a variety of ways. When used appropriately, visual supports allow special educational needs students to access the general curriculum and aid in inclusion.

Manipulatives – using physical tools to support learning means students can use their hands to problem solve, changing their thought processes by reaching conclusions with more complex conceptual understanding. These tools include beads, strings and wall games.

Timers – Using timers throughout the day to mark transition stages allows children to feel a sense of control and order in their environment and helps them to manage their behaviour.


The Importance Of Sensory Play

Sensory rooms were developed in the Netherlands in the late 1970’s as a therapeutic tool for individuals with sever disabilities. Designed to be both soothing and stimulating, studies have shown that the benefits of sensory rooms are far-reaching and beneficial for all children (with or without special needs). Benefits include increasing student engagement and brain stimulation, allowing them to explore and react to their environment. The sensory room user develops visual processing abilities to boost gross and fine motor skills. Balance, movement and spatial orientation are improved and behavioural issues are reduced.

Mainstream schools have invested in the educational progress of their students by installing well-furnished sensory rooms. To be fully inclusive in all areas of school life, sensory resources are also integrated throughout the school environment.

Sensory Play Equipment – Look, listen, touch, taste, smell. Utilising all of the bodies senses is as simple as installing captivating equipment such as sensory tables to light panels and balls, mesmerising sensory lights and captivating sensory toys, cushions, furniture, boards, play mats and interactive toys.

Sensory Outdoor Equipment And Sensory Playground Equipment – Children with Autism and Sensory Processing Disorders may find challenges with socialization, communication, play and imagination. Sensory playgrounds attract children of all abilities and encourage exploration, discovery integration and acceptance of differences.

Sensory Tools For The Classroom – There are a huge variety of sensory tools that can transform a classroom into a fully integrated centre of exploration. All children learn in different ways and have differing sensory needs. Sensory tools for the classroom that are embedded into the existing school criteria are used differently by children depending on their physical requirements. Excellent examples of sensory play equipment for the classroom are sand or water play tables. and LED lit toys.

Sensory therapy equipment and occupational therapy supplies make an enormous difference in the school life of children with disabilities, autism and special educational needs, greatly improving their ability to manage sensory input and to effectively learn alongside their peers. Some examples of beneficial sensory therapist equipment include swings, trampolines, soft play boxes and balance beams, all items that challenge children to explore and understand their senses.


Early Intervention Sensory Equipment

As educators have developed ever-increasing understanding of the complexity and individuality of disabilities and autism relative to special educational needs, it has become further apparent that the earlier that children are exposed to sensory exploration the more that they are able to manage their behavioural responses to it. Nurseries that embrace the need for sensory friendly classrooms, sensory play equipment and sensory playground equipment offer their students the opportunity to understand, explore and manage receptive input, ready to maximise their learning when they begin primary education.


Disability and autism centres in the U.A.E utilise SEN equipment, sensory play resources and sensory tools to use occupational therapy techniques to assist children of determination in successfully integrating into mainstream education giving them the opportunity to learn alongside their peers. Autism classroom furniture, sensory playground resources, disability furniture and autism classroom resources then allow mainstream schools to use brain friendly learning resources to offer inclusive educational opportunities to children of determination.  Resulting in an education system that supports students with varying needs and abilities, forging a future society that embraces the virtues of diversity.


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The region’s leading sensory play supplier of special educational play equipment, Moon Kids create, design and install top quality SEN resources for schools, nurseries and disability and autism centres across the UAE.