About Us

Our Story

“I know the feeling of a child being rejected from a school only because they cannot cope with the school environment, it’s painful and daunting.”- Shamaila Nawaz 

Small Steps is born out of the personal experience of our co-founder, Shamaila Nawaz, a British citizen and Dubai resident for the past 7 years. She is the mother of a young boy with autism. Her struggle began in 2015, when her son was 3.5. Shamaila attended an induction at a school in Dubai where her son had been admitted to start FS1.

Soon after the induction, Shamaila realised that her child could not meet the requirements of the school and expressed her concerns to the school’s staff Shamaila initially struggled to find the right support for her son in Dubai. She relied on resources in her home country, the United Kingdom, to provide the right level of care and support for her child. She became aware of a pronounced shortage of high-quality providers to support children with learning difficulties. Her journey and struggle inspired her to establish Small Steps.


“ To see every child being facilitated and integrated into a mainstream school”


“Making our society least challenging and more acceptable for Autistic children”

Case Study 1

Azaan is a bright and lovely young boy who joined small steps at our GEMS founders School facility in September 2018.Azaan was referred to Small Steps by the inclusion teams at Gems founders school where he attended mainstream classes.

He was encountering several behavioral and social skill changes that affected his learning and development.

He demonstrated severe disruptive behavioral changes when he found himself in situations which he did not prefer such as denied access to favourite object, increased work demand, group work, attention from others, loud noises etc.With the help of our collaborative efforts at Small Steps, he was able to improve vigorously.

Case Study 2

Luqman is a charming and bright 9 years old boy with distinct personality filled with humour and curiosity.He was diagnosed with Autism in April 2016 by professor Patrick Bolton in UK.

Luqman demonstrated challenges with advanced perspective taking skills, effective role playing and group skills, lack of attention due to hyperactivity and some communication deficits.

We identified Luqman's predominant barriers to learning and initiated appropriate intervention strategies to overcome the challenges that were potentially impending his learning.

Gess Award Nomination

gess award nomination small steps

Our Recommendation

small steps determined but highly underrated
``For the few students who are given one to one support in Small Steps Center, the curriculum is adapted well to meet their individual needs``

KHDA Inspection Report

KHDA Inspection Report
KHDA Inspection Report
(GEMS Metropole School 2017)
``It has been a delight to work with small steps during a first team as a partnership. The students in small steps are part of students population and are already accessing the mainstream classroom. I am looking forward to seeing the partnership flourish, but most importantly the success of each individual who are receiving the fantastic provision small steps has to offer``.
Siobhan Bredy
Siobhan Bredy
Head of Inclusion