Child Guidance Clinic (CGC)
Sharjah, United Arab Emirates (UAE)
The Child Guidance Clinic (CGC), UAE, is a multidisciplinary team of professionals (psychiatrists, physician , educational psychologist, social worker, special educator & language pathologist) working together towards the cause of children with developmental disabilities.
In this world of fast-paced performance and educational excellence, poor scholastic performance (PSP) in a child’s school-years tends to produce deep emotional scars if not remediated at the right time. There are also a host of difficulties that can impede a child’s performance which need to be rectified to help them succeed in a school setting. Most children who do poorly in school may be intelligent enough and possess numerous other skills that can help them get ahead in their lives; these need to be identified and nurtured.
The narrative of our CGC evolves from the need to address these ever increasing problems of learning and behavior in school children; these are eminently treatable if identified early enough.
A multidisciplinary approach is adopted while evaluating children with problems in learning and behavior. This is likely the first of its kind in United Arab Emirates.
Most children tend to have a combination of problems: developmental, neurological, academic and emotional. Hence it is imperative that a team of specialists from related fields is available to evaluate these children. Such a multidisciplinary approach is made possible at the CGC, Sharjah, UAE. A dedicated team of child psychiatrist, educational psychologist, medical social worker, special educator and language pathologist offer appropriate assessment, guidance and treatment.
Our team works in the open setting of CGC, which encourages children and their parents to seek help for learning difficulties, emotional or behavior problems without stigma and fear. The need of the hour is for schools to have access to an authentic resource centre like ours with various specialists, where they can confidently seek expert opinion about the child’s performance in order to help them.
Services at CGC, UAE
Our services include professional evaluation for:
- Poor school performance (PSP) and learning disorders (LD)
- Levels of intelligence (IQ) and types of intelligence
- Special skills and abilities
- Academic skill deficits in reading, writing, spelling, math, etc.
- Speech and language disorders: stuttering, aphasias, etc
- Motor skill deficits; poor handwriting, clumsiness, etc.
- Attention deficit hyperactivity disorders (ADD/ADHD)
- Defiant/ oppositional behavior, conduct disorders
- Addiction to TV/ Internet, disorganized routines
- Tics/ tourette disorder, ‘silent’ epilepsy
- Obsessive behavior/ disorders; obsessive slowness/ procrastination, etc
- Anxiety, school phobia, exam phobia and various fears in the child
- Depression, social withdrawal, loss of interest
- Developmental neurological disorders
- ‘Functional’ symptoms like headache, breathlessness, stomachache, frequent sickness, absenteeism from school, etc.
These are some of the difficulties that need to be checked out by a team of specialists. Such a facility is provided in one single centre as the CGC, Sharjah, UAE.
Stages of Evaluation: Protocol
1. Intake Interview: This is a major step in diagnosis, with information from parents, child, and report from teacher and samples from the child’s work, to identify the child’s problems and to determine which other specialist needs to examine the child, if necessary.
2. Physical/ Neurological Examination: This is done to rule out soft neurological signs and sensory deficits. Tests like EEG or other investigations may be done for the same.
3. Assessment of Poor School Performance (Learning Disorders): The basic sets of assessment include: Tests of general intelligence (IQ) and Types of Intelligence | Assessment of Academic Skills- Reading, Writing, Spelling, Math and Language | Assessment of Pre-academic Skills (for children below 6 years) | Tests of Speech and Language | Identification of Special Abilities/ Aptitude Testing | Neurological assessment and EEG, etc.
4. Assessing Overlapping Disorders: A significant part of the evaluation includes identifying other co-existing disorders. This is done by focused evaluation and multi-axial diagnosis.
5. Multidisciplinary Diagnosis and Documentation: After completion of assessments, a multidisciplinary diagnosis is made. Counseling & Guidance is offered for the child and parent or guardians. Follow-up sessions are planned, remedial therapy is given and medical intervention, if any, is suggested.
The CGC Outreach Programmes include the following:
- Workshop on “Learning Strategies” for Children.
- Workshop on “Life Skills” for Children.
- Workshop / Sensitization modules for Schools, Teachers and Parents.
- Consultation and Liaison for Resource Room Services in Schools.
- Training Programmes for Counselors, Social Workers and Special Educators.
Research and Documentation
Liaison with renowned organisations in India and abroad for original research, documentation and academic publication as a major focus; writings have been published by John Wiley and Sons Ltd., New York, Sage Publications, UK, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), New Delhi , the World Health Organisation (WHO), Indian Journal of Psychiatry (IJP) etc.