x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Workshop to help parents spot speech impediments

The event in Abu Dhabi will highlight child development issues that often go unnoticed by parents.

A free weekend workshop on the Corniche in Abu Dhabi will help parents quickly identify speech impediments in their young children. The event, which aims to help infants and toddlers with special needs, is organised by Nahtam, a social responsibility group. The group said the event would highlight child development issues that often go unnoticed by parents. "We found out that those who have children with special needs, with language and communication problems, they don't even know there is the problem because they don't do this kind of therapy," said Isabelle Le Bon-Poonoosamy, co-founder of Nahtam.

The free workshop will be held Saturday at a Nahtam family tent on the Corniche. A 90-minute English-language workshop will start at 11am. An Arabic workshop will start at 1pm. The event will be led by Maya Marji, a speech and language pathologist based in the capital. Mrs Le Bon-Poonoosamy said the sessions would be interactive, allowing parents to seek advice on developing their children's speech capabilities. "We are just filling the gap, as we feel there's a big need and a lack of recognition of problems early on," she said.

Some of this is related to a lack of education or denial by some parents, she said. Mrs Le Bon-Poonoosamy spoke to a mother who has a three-year-old child who has still not learnt how to speak. "Early intervention should happen way before three years old," she said. @Email:kshaheen@thenational.ae