Addressing developmental challenges in children
We spoke to Dr. Zemer Wang, Medical Director at Aviv Clinics Dubai by DP World, about recognising and tackling developmental challenges with the right resources, so you can empower all children to thrive.
Children’s development is a diverse and intricate journey, influenced by their environment as well as their various experiences. Some children may experience delays in reaching milestones, such as speaking, walking or social interactions. These challenges are influenced by a variety of genetic, environmental or neurological factors. It’s essential to remember that every child’s pace is different. Every child is unique, shaped by their genetics, their early interactions, their education and their social surroundings.
While some kids may be cognitively ahead early on, others may shine in emotional intelligence or artistic talents later in their development. As parents, it’s good to understand these differences and recognise that not all kids reach milestones simultaneously. However, if you feel that your child shows concerning behaviours or seems to be lagging significantly in some areas of development, seeking professional guidance and support is essential.
IDENTIFYING AN ISSUE
Recognising developmental conditions early can make a world of difference in a child’s life. Some common conditions include Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and learning disabilities. Watch out for signs such as limited eye contact, delayed language development, difficulty concentrating or challenges in forming friendships. However, keep in mind that only a healthcare professional can provide a formal diagnosis.
THE ROOT CAUSE
Understanding the root cause of your child’s developmental issues is hugely important. By delving into the basic cause, doctors can understand whether your little one’s challenges stem from genetic factors, neurological conditions that affect brain development, or environmental factors, such as toxins.
Pinpointing the underlying cause is essential for designing the right intervention plan. Developmental issues can have diverse origins and so a targeted and personalised strategy is always best. Developmental delays arise from a wide variety of conditions, either genetic or acquired. In some acquired conditions, interventions focusing on brain stimulation and neural pathways can be very beneficial. If genetic factors play a role, arriving at the exact diagnosis is highly important, as some genetic conditions have specific treatments.
Early intervention services play a critical role in supporting children with developmental challenges. These services are tailored to a child’s specific needs and may include speech therapy, occupational therapy, behavioural therapy or special education programs. If you suspect your child may be facing developmental challenges, seeking professional evaluation is essential. Reach out to specialists to discuss your concerns as soon as you can. Early intervention can lead to better outcomes, providing your child with the tools they need to thrive in their journey ahead, positively impact your child’s development and improve their quality of life.
One of the most challenging problems facing parents is diagnosing and finding the right solutions for their child’s development. Getting the correct diagnosis is essential to be able to treat the condition in the most effective and efficient way.
At Aviv Clinics, our team of experts is here to help, starting that process with Aviv’s Youth Assessment. The assessment draws on years of evidence-based research by some of the world’s foremost medical professionals and scientists. Aviv’s Youth Assessment offers an in-depth cognitive and physical assessment to evaluate the issue and offer further advice for a tailored treatment plan moving forward.
Our comprehensive assessment also uses advanced brain imaging modalities and extensive blood tests, including genetic testing to identify the root cause of a child’s condition and their current functional level. The clinic offers a holistic protocol combining Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) with tailored cognitive training and specific nutritional guidance to cater to each child’s needs. Based on the assessment results, each family is given recommendations as to the best plan of action going forwards.
Timely and accurate interventions are especially critical for neurological disorders and developmental challenges, as the early developmental period provides a crucial window for promoting neuroplasticity and fostering positive developmental changes. By prioritising the right treatment and intervention at the right time, we can nurture the potential of these children and pave the way for brighter futures filled with growth and achievement.
This approach is particularly critical for children with neurological conditions, such as traumatic brain injuries and problems during birth, like birth hypoxia, which present a wide range of symptoms and challenges that are unique to each individual. A thorough assessment is essential in understanding each child’s distinct needs and strengths.
Autism spectrum disorder
For children with autism spectrum disorder, a comprehensive assessment helps identify specific communication difficulties, issues with social interaction, as well as any repetitive behaviours. Understanding children’s core struggles and strengths can be used to inform the approach taken by professionals and parents to foster kids’ communication, social skills and adaptive behaviours. Early identification and intervention significantly improves autistic children’s outcomes, underscoring the importance of timely, insightful assessments.
Similarly, a proper assessment for children with cerebral palsy can shed light on their level of motor impairment and any related medical issues. This guides the development of a comprehensive treatment plan, incorporating physical therapy, assistive devices and medical management, ultimately maximising children’s abilities and overall quality of life. Moreover, these plans also consider children’s emotional and psychological wellbeing, identifying helpful coping mechanisms in the hope of addressing any potential mental health concerns.
For parents and caregivers of children with autism spectrum disorder, cerebral palsy or other neurological conditions, the assessment process serves as a roadmap, facilitating access to essential resources and support services. It enables parents to proactively advocate for their child’s needs, ensuring they receive the right care and education to foster their growth and development. Ultimately, proper assessment and intervention invests in a brighter future, by paving the way for children with developmental delays to reach their fullest potential, overcoming their unique challenges with determination and courage.