Pioneering First Step Counseling Center Renews Commitment to Serving Autistic Patients

First Step Counseling Center — a pioneer in services to autistic people in Kuwait and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries — has renewed its commitment to serving its patients. The therapy center first became autism certified in 2021 through the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES). By renewing the Center’s initial pledge to serve the autistic community, it has highlighted its commitment to autism training and certification for its staff to better assist patients.

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“Here at First Step Counseling Center, we pledge to continue assisting our autistic children in accessing their full potential, becoming independent, improving their skills, strengthening their personalities, and offering a valuable contribution to society. Our mission also includes raising awareness of autism so that our patients can have a better tomorrow,” says Managing Director Ali Khader.

First Step Counseling Center was initially designated as a Certified Autism Center™ (CAC) through IBCCES and became the first therapy center in Kuwait and the GCC countries to earn this accolade.

For more than 20 years, IBCCES has been a leader in cognitive disorder training and certification for healthcare, education, public safety, travel, and corporate professionals around the globe, including the Middle East North Africa (MENA) region. IBCCES’s programs include evidence-based content as well as the perspectives of autistic individuals alongside other resources, ongoing support, and renewal requirements to ensure there is continued learning and a lasting impact.

IBCCES also created as a free online resource for parents that lists certified locations and professionals. Each organization listed on the site has met the CAC requirements.

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“Specialized training and certification is essential so that therapy centers like First Step can serve patients to the very best of their abilities. Our programs for healthcare and therapy centers go above and beyond so that they can help improve outcomes and communication with all patients,” says IBCCES Board Chairman Myron Pincomb.

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First Step Counseling Center offers a range of services to support patients of all ages with autism spectrum disorder, global developmental delay, and related challenges, including social (pragmatic) communication disorder and non-verbal learning disorder (NVLD). These services include early intervention services and behavior, occupational, and speech therapy.

The therapy center’s ultimate aim is to empower patients of all ages to learn, grow, gain independence, and live full and enriched lives.

Since its original certification, First Step Counseling Center has taken many positive steps to support autistic patients. The certification has provided the team with more tools and understanding to serve autistic patients, with an awareness of their unique and ever-changing needs. All assessments and therapy techniques are both research-based and customized for each patient, making them effective.

You can find out more about First Step Counseling Center here.

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Delivering The Global Standard for Training and Certification in The Field of Cognitive Disorders – IBCCES provides a series of certifications that empower professionals to be leaders in their field and improve the outcomes for the individuals they serve. These programs are recognized around the world as the leading benchmark for training and certification in the areas of autism and other cognitive disorders.

About First Step Counseling Center

First Step Counseling Center believes that individuals with different ability levels deserve the opportunity to realize their full potential. They believe that all people can continuously learn and can make meaningful choices regarding their lives in spite of developmental disabilities.  Their mission is to offer patients of all ages and their families innovative and early intervention services and solutions that will lead them to growth and independence regardless of any behavioral, speech or occupational challenges.


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