Amal Alawami

Amel Alawami

Developmental Behavioral Pediatrician (DBP) at Johns Hopkins Aramco Healthcare Center
Dhahran, KSA

Dr. Amel Alawami is a developmental behavioral pediatrician (DBP) at Johns Hopkins Aramco Healthcare center in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia.

Dr. Alawami is a passionate about caring for children with developmental disabilities and their families.

Dr. Alawami completed her medical school training at King Faisal University for Medicine and Medical Science in Saudi Arabia. She did her pediatric specialty training at Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas. And Developmental Behavior Pediatric fellowship at Tufts Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts. She also completed her LEND (Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities) fellowship at the UMass Eunice Kennedy Shriver Center in 2017. She also obtained Masters in Public Administration through Suffolk University in 2018.

In Saudi Arabia, Dr. Alawami had been a physician leader and active advocate for children with disabilities. She organized multiple conferences for clinicians, teachers and parents related to different developmental disorders.

During her DBP fellowship, Dr. Alawami has organized an Arab Family Support group “Ousraty”. The group has successfully supported Arab families living in MA.  Dr. Amel was awarded by the Federation for Children with Special Needs the community partnership award of 2018.

Dr. Alawami’s paper “Implementation of M-CHAT Screening for Autism in Primary Care in Saudi Arabia” is accepted to be published in Global Pediatrics Health Journal.



Short Description of the Workshop:

1. Principles for Diagnosis of ASD

Autism is a spectrum disorder for a reason, it manifests itself in many forms, and it changes with time as any pervasive developmental disorder. Early detection is proven to change the projection and prognosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder. In the presentation, we will discuss some of the ways to detect delay in the primary care setting or in the preschools using (SWYC and M-CHAT/R). There will be an emphasis on the evidence based methods used to diagnose autism ranging from clinical observation with a full medical and psychosocial history, reaching to the gold standard test which is Autism Diagnostic Observational Scale (ADOS). The information gathered about the child need to fulfil the DSM-5 Criteria to be able to label the child as having autism. We will discuss also the limitations of all the methods for diagnosis of autism and how and when to choose one versus the other.