Nibras Sadoun literally adopted the issue of autism in Iraq. While conducting field research in special education, she took in an autistic child who had been abandoned by his mother.
Now Sadoun oversees six countrywide offices of Al Rahman Institute, which is named after her son. The institute helps educate and socialise autistic children, who are often overlooked by Iraq's educational system.
The government does not provide Al Rahman with any funding, but parents say the institute is a lifeline for their children.
Al Jazeera's Jane Arraf reports from Baghdad.