Coding for my rights – Life with Autism

Empowering parents and children with tools and support

“Every child deserves to live their best life,” says Naim Al-Qawasmeh as he introduces the initiative Life with Autism. The initiative is aimed at empowering parents with the tools and resources to identify and treat children within the autism spectrum disorder. Statistics by the World Health Organization indicates that one in every 160 children has an autism spectrum disorder. “In Palestine the cases are growing, but parents are unable to recognize the symptoms to get their children the treatment and help they need,” says Mahmoud.

Joining MENACatalyst’s Palestine Codes: Coding for Children’s Rights, allowed Naim and Mahmoud learn how to use HTML, CSS, and JavaScript to build a website that addresses a cause meaningful to them, “We wanted to take what we learned and create a project that helps autistic kids live their best life, because parents just don’t know what to do or where to go for support.” Because of this, treatment for children with autism is often delayed not only making it difficult for children to communicate and interact with their surroundings, but difficult for parents to reach their children.
The scope of the initiative and build of the website is impressive to say the least, with sections that include comprehensive guides to discovering autism and integrated surveys to identify cases of autism spectrum disorders. Additional sections include success stories which illustrate inspiring examples of families who have received the support and treatment they need for their children, as well as a guide to local centers and developmental organizations that support children with autism. “We want to give families hope and help people discover and live with autism,” says Naim.

“We want to help change people’s attitudes and perceptions about autism, and raise
awareness to make a difference in the lives of kids with autism,” Naim says. The impact is undeniable, raising awareness about autism is only the first step, the initiative will directly reach out to local organizations to increase their community outreach and provide an outlet for families all over Palestine to get the support they need.

In Palestine, the initiative Life with Autism is truly unique, there is currently a lack dedicated platforms online or otherwise available for parents who need support for their autistic children or lack the knowledge to identify the symptoms. Yet with the coding knowledge gained from Palestine Codes: Coding for Children’s Rights, Naim and Mahmoud were able to create something truly inspiring with the potential to transform the lives of hundreds of families in Palestine.

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