x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

Children's therapies to be expanded at hospital

The expanded recovery ward at Latifa Hospital will emphasise psychological support.

DUBAI // The expanded recovery ward at one of the country's biggest children's hospitals will emphasise psychological support.

The paediatric rehabilitation unit at Latifa Hospital treats, among others, children with autism, hyperactivity, cerebral palsy and those who require orthopaedic treatment.

It now offers a therapy room, and psychological counselling and screening for children under three to test their cognitive development.

Amal Al Shamlan, the head of the unit, said psychological support was vital to patient's recovery.

"[Our patients] have multiple complex problems," he said. "Psychology looks at the problems and assesses the patient's mental functions. This is a very essential part to the recovery process and should add to the other services we offer."

Many of the unit's young patients will require psychological support to understand their conditions and cope with them, she said.

Currently the hospital, which was formerly named Al Wasl Hospital, has just one child psychologist. It hopes to hire more by the end of the year, but Ms Al Shamlan admits that could be tricky.

"Clinical psychology is very specialised and it's hard to get qualified, so it's going to take time," she said.

The new services will also teach families how to support their children at home.