Treating Children with Disabilities

Hospital Fatimah, Ipoh organised a general practitioners’ symposium at the Potpourri House, Jalan Woodward recently. The symposium, held once every 3 months, is aimed at sharing medical information amongst doctors and a platform to discuss current medical issues faced by those in the medical profession.

The event, sponsored by Dutch Lady and presented by pediatrician, Dr Shan Narayanan, saw some 30 participants. Most were general practitioners and their family members. The theme of this forum was ‘Children with Special Needs’. It was designed to provide doctors with information about kids with learning, emotional and physical disabilities and ways to deal with them.

The recent increase in cases of ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), autism and learning disabilities, according to Dr Shan, are due to the increase in awareness amongst the public. Advancements in information technology and education have led to this phenomenon.

“Parents today are better informed than before. They are aware of their children’s behavioural patterns and are willing to seek medication where necessary,” he said.

He advised doctors to refer their patients to pediatricians should they show symptoms of these disabilities, as early detection could increase their chances of recovery. But they need to get the patient’s guardian(s) permission first.

“ADHD, autism and learning disabilities are not like flu or fever, whereby you could recover within just a few weeks. It’s a lifelong process. Early detection, early intervention and accepting the fact that your child has a physical disorder are initial steps towards recovery.

“Show empathy rather than sympathy and put the child first instead of his special needs. Which is why I’d always advise parents or guardians to put the child in a nursery with his or her own age group instead of keeping them locked up at home; the improvements are tremendous,” he insisted.

Shan then shared with the participants some successful recovery stories of his patients who were diagnosed with ADHD, autism and learning disability..


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