Wed | Oct 26, 2016

Kids in danger

Published:Tuesday | April 26, 2011 | 12:00 AM

Lack of proper facilities holding back children with disorders, says doc

Nadisha Hunter, Staff Reporter

Dr Shane Alexis, president of the Jamaica Medical Doctors' Association, is raising concerns that a shortage of facilities and personnel to care for children with developmental disorders has left some unable to realise their full potential.

Alexis said there needs to be a better mechanism in place which would see children who are diagnosed with a medical disorder getting better attention in the education sector.

"The education system does not necessarily have the facilities or the experts to accommodate children who have these challenges, and as a result, they can be marginalised," Alexis said.

"You could be marginalising someone who could become an accountant or the commissioner of police just by not understanding these persons," he said.

The doctor said health professionals have been on the lookout for certain characteristics in young children in order to help identify possible developmental issues such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

"We are paying closer attention to behaviour and are on the lookout so that we can see where we need to refer someone or make diagnosis as the case may be, because where you have a child who has a legitimate disorder, whether it be hyperactivity or attention deficit, it has significant implications for their education," Alexis said.

pay attention to children

He is advising parents to pay close attention to their children so that they can detect any challenges that the children might be facing so that they can get medical attention early.

Recent scientific research has suggested babies who cry excessively and have problems feeding and sleeping have a greater risk of serious behavioural problems later in life.

The research, published in the Archives of Disease in Childhood Journal, claims one in five babies has symptoms that could lead to conditions such as ADHD.

Professor Mitch Blair, officer for health promotion at The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, was quoted in a BBC article yesterday saying, "It is an important study."

He said parents were very good at knowing when something was wrong with their children and that the study "really reinforces the need for attention at an early stage to prevent issues later in childhood".