UAE: New programme to help families raising kids with developmental issues

Comprehensive, evidence-based guide to assist parents to identify if their child needs additional support


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Published: Thu 27 Oct 2022, 2:04 PM

Last updated: Thu 27 Oct 2022, 2:40 PM

A new initiative that gives guidance to parents and care givers a starting point and key information to help support children with developmental delays or disabilities has been rolled out in the UAE Capital.

The Abu Dhabi Early Childhood Authority (ECA) launched the "Abu Dhabi Early Intervention Guide" as a part of the Abu Dhabi Strategy for People of Determination 2020-2024 to provide an important resource that outlines the early intervention services available for families and caregivers and their children with development delays or disabilities in Abu Dhabi.

The initiative has been implemented in collaboration with the Mubadala Investment Company, the Department of Community Development- Abu Dhabi, the Department of Health - Abu Dhabi, the Zayed Higher Organization for People of Determination, and the Abu Dhabi Public Health Center.

The guide is part of the ECA's ongoing efforts to promote the welfare of children including people of determination in Abu Dhabi and enhance early detection of developmental challenges to support children receiving appropriate and timely intervention services.

Designed to support and enable children with a developmental delay or disability, the guide gives parents and caregivers key information that they need to provide children with specialised and ongoing support at an early age, as well as guidelines on the intervention services available to help children grow, develop and reach their full potential.

Such intervention addresses the health and wellbeing of children and the needs of their families by focusing on four key areas of child development - physical development, cognitive development, behavioural development, and social and emotional development.

The guide is available in both Arabic and English at the ECA's website.

Eng. Thamer Rashed Al Qasimi, Executive Director of Special Projects & Partnerships Sector at the ECA, said: "The Abu Dhabi Early Intervention Guide is designed to meet the needs of parents and caregivers in dealing with developmental delays and disabilities in children, giving them key information to help them support those children who have developmental delays or disabilities of any kind.

"As early intervention services contribute effectively to the development of children's abilities and skills and reduce the impact of disabilities on their growth and development, they enhance children's ability to integrate into society and achieve better results in their future lives."

The guide supports the implementation of Abu Dhabi's strategy of fully including people of determination through promoting holistic support for child development and positioning Abu Dhabi as a global centre for early childhood development.

As a comprehensive, evidence-based resource designed to help parents identify if their child needs additional support, such as speech therapy or occupational therapy based on their developmental age and stage, the Abu Dhabi Early Intervention Guide provides parents with details on the services available

"Early childhood intervention is based on preventative, multidisciplinary approaches from which the services provided by the partners are derived, and whose effectiveness is directly related to the early detection of disabilities or developmental delays," Al Qasimi added.

"The first five years of a child's life are critical in terms of development and learning. The first three years, during which the child undergoes rapid development, are also of particular importance."



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