Children's FAQ's

# 1. Which children would benefit from a neuropsychological assessment?

Any child who encounters difficulties in daily and/or school activities.

The difficulties may vary from one child to another: difficulties in paying attention, problems of hyperactivity or impulsivity, reading and/or writing difficulties, speech difficulties, behavioural problems, difficulties in coordinating movement.

An assessment is also beneficial when there is a suspicion of intellectual precocity (gifted children) or a suspicion of developmental delay.

# 1. What is a Developmental Paediatrician?

A developmental pediatrician is a medical doctor trained in pediatrics with additional, specialist training in the physical, emotional, behavioural and social development of children. They work in a multidisciplinary setting and coordinate care for children at home and school with therapists and other health care workers. This team approach can provide a more in-depth perspective for a parent, which will ultimately help your child be the best that they can.

# 2. When should my child see a Developmental Paediatrician?

  • If you have concerns about your child’s development in any area; social, emotional, behavioural or developmental (e.g. speech, motor skills).
  • If your child has trouble in school (behaviour issues, learning, making friends)
  • If your child has bedwetting, faecal soiling, trouble sleeping or eating
  • If your child is anxious or seems depressed
  • If your child was born preterm, has a chromosomal abnormality or a chronic medical problem
  • If anyone has raised the probability of a neurodevelopmental disorder (see question 3)

# 3. What are neurodevelopmental disorders?

Neurodevelopmental disorders are a group of conditions with onset in the developmental period. The disorders are characterised by developmental deficits that produce impairments of personal, social, academic or occupational functioning.

Neurodevelopmental disorders include:

  • Autism Spectrum
  • Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder
  • Intellectual Disabilities
  • Global Developmental Delay
  • Communication Disorders/Language Disorders
  • Social (Pragmatic) Communication Disorder
  • Specific Learning Disorder
  • Motor Disorders
  • Developmental Coordination Disorder
  • Stereotypic Movement Disorder
  • Tic Disorders

# 4. Why does my child need an assessment?

The purpose of an assessment is not only to arrive at a diagnosis, but most importantly to identify the child’s strengths and difficulties. Being able to arrive at a particular diagnosis guides therapy along more appropriate evidence-based treatment, informs on prognosis and genetic counselling as appropriate. However, having a clear understanding of the child’s current level of functioning, forms the basis for developing the therapy programme and serves a baseline to monitor progress. It allows more focus on areas of difficulty and also using the child’s strengths to support areas where they may be deficient. A comprehensive assessment also informs of co-morbidities and associated difficulties which can be targeted with therapy, thereby reducing the burden of the child’s difficulties.

Guidelines and clinical practice parameters that guide assessments and diagnosis in neurodevelopmental disorders, strongly advocate for all children with difficulties to have a comprehensive assessment by a trained specialist.

# 5. What happens during an assessment?

Assessments are usually conducted over 3 sessions, with the 4th session happening 2 weeks after the assessments are completed. Each session last for one hour. The first session is for the parents alone. The 2nd and 3rd sessions are with the neurodevelopmental pediatrician conducting the necessary assessments with the child. Parents/carers of young children are welcome in the assessment with their child. The 4th session is for the parents only. This is when the findings of the assessment and recommendations will be discussed with the parents, and a management plan to support the child is agreed upon. The child is then referred to the appropriate department(s) to carry out the management plan.

Some children may need to come for extra assessment sessions, depending on the areas of difficulty being assessed.

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The Children's Medical Centre


Villa No. 1,
899 Al Wasl Road ,
Umm Suqeim 2,
P.O.Box 215524,
United Arab Emirates.