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NSA Bahrain visits Alia for Early Intervention

21 April 2024

From Ameera Al-Kooheji, NSA Bahrain Public Affairs

In support of Autism Awareness Month, Sailors assigned to Naval Support Activity (NSA) Bahrain visited the Alia Autism Centers - Alia for Early Intervention in coordination with the Bahrain Society for Children with Behavioral & Communication Difficulties in A’ali, Bahrain, April 21.

The visit created direct interactions between Sailors and students on the spectrum with various social activities that included cooking classes, physical training and music amongst other activities. The center faculty educated the Sailors about other treatments and methods by joining the students in classes that included occupational therapy, cognitive behavior therapy and applied behavioral analysis.


“It was a really nice experience,” said Master-at-Arms 3rd Class Ema Pulido, one of the Sailors visiting Alia Autism Centers. “It felt good giving to all these kids and hanging out with them. It’s a memory I’ll hold forever in my heart.”


The initiative to visit the Alia Autism Centers is part of NSA Bahrain's commitment to foster Sailor engagement and reinforce social responsibility through support of the society’s mission -  to foster understanding and acceptance for individuals with Autism in the Kingdom of Bahrain.


Dr. Shaikha Rania Al Khalifa, director, Alia for Early Intervention and Alia Rehabilitation Center, was appreciative of this visit and expressed her gratitude.


“Community events such as this one align perfectly with our mission to further enhance the student’s interactive abilities and spread Autism awareness across cultures,” said Dr. Shaikha Khalifa. “We are thankful to the U.S. Navy for their support and look forward to future opportunities.”


The community relations event was the second collaboration with Bahrain Society for Children with Behavioral & Communication Difficulties this year. NSA Bahrain hosted Dr. Stephen Shore, a visiting professor of special education at Adelphi University, Feb. 28, to spread awareness about Autism and break associated stigmas.


“We are thankful to be able to collaborate with the Alia Autism Centers for the second time, and especially because April is Autism Awareness Month,” said Capt. Zachariah Aperauch, commanding officer, NSA Bahrain. “The relationship between the amazing staff and students from the school, and our U.S. Navy Sailors stationed here in Bahrain, is one I anticipate will only grow stronger in the years to come.”


NSA Bahrain’s mission is to support U.S. and coalition maritime operations throughout the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations by providing security for ships, aircraft and tenants on board NSA Bahrain and assigned detachments. NSA Bahrain provides efficient and effective shore services to sustain the fleet, enable the fighter and support the family with honor, courage and commitment.


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