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Early Intervention Services in the UAE

The Child Early Intervention Medical Center in Dubai (CEIMC) is a highly specialised center, which focuses on all aspects of child development from birth to 18 years of age. As a winner in the UAE Excellence Awards, in the Most Outstanding in Children’s Healthcare category, we interviewed the firm’s Dr Hibah Shata to learn more.

Child Early Intervention Medical Center in Dubai (CEIMC) offers developmental and psychological assessments, therapy services, special needs support and a variety of programmes for children who require early intervention in learning or behaviour.

 

Their unique approach, emphasises an individualised service for children and families that incorporates the importance of health and wellness, culture, family, language, community and how they contribute to a child’s overall development.

Dr Hibah Shata begins by revealing more about the firm’s services and their client service philosophy plus the challenges and opportunities of being based in the UAE region.

“We offer various services such as psychological and social skills services, applied behavioural analysis, speech & language assessment & therapy,
occupational therapy, vision rehabilitation, feeding therapy, training and parental training & support.

“Our philosophy is to innovate constantly to create a unique experience for our children and their families, while our focus is on providing children with individualised programmes based on their strengths and needs, and foster their inclusion in mainstream schools and the community. We also include the parent in every decision and have them involved in their child’s programme. We support them with necessary training and engage with them through technology and continuous communication.

“When we started in 2008, early intervention services did not exist; there was lack of awareness that special children could go in school and there were many kids on long waiting lists for therapy. There was no monitoring of the quality of services rendered to children.
There was a big gap in the number of service providers to meet the growing needs of the society. Other challenges included the lack of specialised manpower within the UAE and the high cost of treatment.

”Following on from this, Roshani says the firm realised that they would need to:

• Raise awareness to the importance of early intervention through media, workshops and conferences;

• Provide state of the art service model to set a best practice bench mark for early intervention services;

• Introduce applied behavioural analysis services to the region that is best researched methods for treating children with autism and other developmental delays, through building a structured training programme, to develop highly trained therapist to work with the children;

• Raising community awareness towards the importance of inclusion of special children in mainstream schools and the community using all channels, including community events, walks and media;

• Support the education providers with the necessary training, assist them to develop individualised education plans, implement behavioural plans and work hand in hand with them towards successful inclusion and;

• Develop a unique inclusion model that supports the children in school, with shadow teachers and after school, with tutoring and behavioural therapy.

Roshani then tells us about the challenges overcome with the KHDA involvement in inspection of schools, plus what makes the firm unique and the key advantages of being based in UAE.
“The challenges are overcome with the KHDA involvement in inspection of schools and rewarding those who are inclusive with points. Firstly, the government of UAE’s engagement in making Dubai the most inclusive city in the World by 2020. The engagement of many nurseries and schools today in the inclusion and skills development of their teachers, through both training and professional development. Secondly, the UAE sets an example for GCC today in its vision and provision of support to the families as well as the individuals with children who have special needs.

“The Child Early Intervention Medical Center is the pioneer in early intervention services, offering a varied service to support the families and the wider community under one roof. Our unique approach emphasises individualised services for children and families, that incorporate the importance of health and wellness, culture, family, language, community and how they contribute to a child’s overall development. We are experts in the field of child development and offer parents, caregivers and professionals the resources and tools they require for successful intervention. Our services are provided by certified and qualified staff, with years of experience between them, which gives us a competitive advantage.

“On the key advantages of being based in this region, I would say that the UAE market is growing constantly and is known today for medical tourism and its everconducive infrastructure is liked by all. Secondly, His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of The Executive Council. In November 2013, he launched the project, ‘My Community ... A City for Everyone’, which aims to help the disabled overcome social barriers and prevent them from being the target of discrimination or abuse. This opens doors of opportunity to support more families with special needs children, to be inclusive in mainstream schools and colleges, thus empowering them to make a career for themselves.”

Roshani is keen to tell us how it feels to be selected in the UAE Excellence Awards for the Most Outstanding in Children’s Healthcare and what this means for him and his firm.

“It’s a great feeling to be awarded the ‘Most Outstanding in Children’s Healthcare’, as it further solidifies our brand in the UAE’s early intervention service market. It boosts our morale and it provides an encouragement for us to do better.

“This award means a great deal to the Child Early Intervention Medical Center. Our business focus on early intervention requires us to have specialised training, relevant formal qualifications, industry certifications and the right experience to deliver our specialised programmes. Winning the ‘Most Outstanding in Children’s Healthcare’ award gives us recognition for the work we have been doing and authenticates our expertise in the early intervention business. Roshani then tells us about the firm’s culture and what they look for when attracting new staff and how do these traits help them integrate into your company? 

“We are a multicultural company with diverse nationalities working with a single aim to create better futures for the children with special needs. Our staff once on board they go through comprehensive training, followed by mentoring and coaching to help them develop their skills, we also encourage innovation and improvement and has a Kaizen platform for staff to participate in the improvement process. We recognise outstanding employees monthly and annually and communicate with them all the time through our CRM system.”

In closing, Roshani reveals what the future holds for the firm as well as any developments on the horizon within the wider UAE business market.

“The number of children affected with developmental delays is increasing and therefore there is always be need for our services, we have expanded our service model to include an educational licensed facility to provide school support services, life skills, job coaching and job placement as well as training and professional development.

“We are digitising all our processes and communication as well as our programmes hoping that we can become accessible at anytime from anywhere. We are receiving referrals from all GCC and Middle East countries. We are looking at franchising our model and with the support of our technology development, access more families across the region.”