Dr Fatima Sultan Alolama, consultant and head of the Child Health Unit in Primary Health Care, stressed the importance of early detection of developmental delay in children, noting that 5% of mothers do not accurately monitor child development theirs, compared to 14%, do not consult their healthcare provider if they notice that their children are growing up, a study last year shows.
She added that, in line with the Dubai Strategy for the Persons with Decisiveness and the Early Disability Detection Program, the DHA is conducting large-scale campaigns at its various health centers to inform the public and healthcare professionals about the importance and means of early detection of developmental delay in children between 6 and 6 years of age.
As part of its ongoing effort to achieve a healthier and happier society, 11% of children worldwide are at high risk of disability and need additional assessment, and 43% are at low risk of disability and need only a routine monitoring and tracking.
The most common developmental delays include cerebral palsy, visual and hearing impairments, mental retardation, educational difficulties, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, autism spectrum disorders, and behavioral disorders.
She explained that the early intervention program provides diagnostic assessment, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, speech therapy and social assistance services, emphasizing that all children's health clinics at primary care centers provide early detection services for development, physical, mental and mental disabilities and developing comprehensive treatment programs for those who need them. children.
She reviewed the various programs currently available by DHA for early detection of various disorders, including premature medical screening, early screening of genetic and metabolic diseases of newborns for those with disorders that are not often present at birth, early screening for jaundice and early screening for hearing impairment. Visual impairment, early detection of developmental impairment and symptoms of autism.
Dr. Fatma Sultan al Olam asserts that screening young children is an effective way for professionals to measure the progress of a child's development and identify possible steps to monitor or monitor the child's health and development through periodic developmental screening, a short test, to see if the child is learning basic skills when they need to, or if there is a lag. Other health professionals, the community or the school can also test the development.
A 2018 survey of mothers' interest in early detection of developmental disabilities showed that 14% were unaware of any means of detecting childhood developmental abnormalities and 9% of mothers did not consult a healthcare provider, if they noticed that their child's development, the growth of children at the same age is not the same and 5% do not follow the growth of their children.
She explained that the initial signs of developmental delay in children occur in the areas of motor, social communication and cognitive, compared to children of the same age, for example, but are not limited to the walking of a child compared to their peers, first word pronunciation, slow social communication With peers or parents and siblings, including non-verbal and visual communication, the child does not know the general concepts that surround him, such as colors, sizes, numbers, and letters, compared to other children of the same age.
In addition to the inability of the child to perform simple independent skills, such as eating alone, wearing clothing and others as they age, including children who master certain skills at a certain stage and then lose or decrease their level of development in one or more areas, such as the loss of the child's ability to pronounce some words he uttered.
Dubai Health aims to raise and increase community awareness of the importance of early screening and tools for detecting developmental delay in children in order to reach as many target audiences as possible and ensure that appropriate health care is provided for needy children, pointing out that the lack of early intervention contributes to the presence of one in three children with disabilities.
The term 'developmental delay' means that the child is delayed in some areas of development and there are 5 areas in which development may be affected: cognitive development, physical development including vision and hearing, language and communication development, social and emotional development and resolution of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, Autism Spectrum Disorders and Behavioral Disorders.