Children of the Kingdom: Bridging Genetics and Islam to Save the Children of Saudi Arabia

November 7, 2016

We are pleased to announce that Terrence R. Dolan, Ph.D., former long-time director of the Waisman Center (UCEDD, LEND & IDDRC) at the University of Wisconsin has published his first book: Children of the Kingdom: Bridging Genetics and Islam to Save the Children of Saudi Arabia. Dr. Dolan, in addition to his 20 year tenure at the Waisman Center, has been an outstanding leader in the network serving as the Board President of AUCD (then called AAUAP), Chair of the IDDRCs, and President of the International Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual Disabilities (IASSID). He has also served on NIH National Advisory Committees and was a Member of a National Academy of Sciences Standing Committee,

In 2002, upon his retirement from the Waisman Center, Dr. Dolan was contacted by Prince Sultan bin Salman, the son of the King of Saudi Arabia, concerning a worry that there was a significant and growing incidence of newborns and young children in the Kingdom with developmental disabilities and disorders. Dr. Dolan learned upon initial review that the Kingdom had no national or regional research and training center dedicated to the development of knowledge about the care and support of children with cognitive and physical challenges. Further, there was no Newborn Screening Program to ascertain the extent of disorders and disabilities in the country.

After extended discussions with the Royal Family, Terrence and his wife Mary Ann moved to Saudi Arabia to help develop an in-country team to build national competence for the support of challenged young children and their families.

The book has two foci. Dr. Dolan describes the cultural adaptations and surprises facing an American family moving to a conservative Islamic country. He also discusses the difficulties of developing a national capacity for the support of children with disabling conditions in an environment in which Western science and health care are not always welcomed and in a land where traditional religious beliefs may conflict with modern medical practice and research.

The book is getting excellent reviews and ordering information can be found on Amazon at: searching on either Terrence Dolan or the title of the book.