Have you ever felt that your child is not paying attention? Does your child get fidgety all the time and finds it hard to sit still? Does your child avoid activities that require sustained mental effort? Do you feel your child is impulsive and does things without thinking? Does your child have difficulty making friends or sustaining them?
If you’ve answered yes, to most of these questions, your child may or may not have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), and would require evaluation and if diagnosed with ADHD, treatment.
However, it is also important to note here that as toddlers and during pre-school years, it’s quite normal for children to exercise lack of attention, not staying still and not being able to control impulses. An example of this would be that children 2-3 years of age will not stay focused on just one thing, and will move from one toy to another, one activity to another at the drop of a hat, and they will constantly be moving around so they can explore the world around them.
However, as these children grow older, they learn to develop the ability to control their behavior and concentrate on the tasks at hand. On the other hand, children with ADHD, do not achieve age-appropriate levels of self-control, organisation and concentration. It just isn’t in their control.
That’s when you need to step in! Get an appointment with your child’s doctor, and get an evaluation done. Maybe your child has ADHD. What’s important now is to take care of it and get it treated so the child and you can lead normal lives because ADHD is a condition that can have obvious consequence on the lives of affected children, their parents and families. ADHD is not an illness like diabetes, nor is it a disorder with a single cause.
According to the report published in March 2010 called 'Child Well-Being in Childrenn' by the Department of Social Development, General Secretariat for Development Planning:
"ADHD among Qatari and non-Qatari 6 -12 year olds at school are 14% for boys - who are known to have higher incidence than girls - across international studies, and 4% for girls giving an overall rate of 9%. There is a strong association of poor school performance for those with the disorder (Bener, Qahtaani and Abdelaal, 2006) . These rates are highby international comparison rates of between an average 5-7%. Countries in the Arab region are generally observed to have higher incidence than the USA and Australia. ."
We were unable to find any ADHD data recorded after 2010 in Qatar.
Though the exact cause of ADHD is still unknown, research has confirmed that ADHD has a very strong neurobiological basis. In fact, it’s a neurological disorder, and although exact causes have not yet been identified, research confirms that it's mostly genetic and hereditary. In instances where there is no connection to family history, some other possible causes have been identified.
Complications during pregnancy, prenatal exposure to certain substances, premature delivery, significantly low birth weight, excessively levels of lead in the body and postnatal injury to the prefrontal regions of the brain, have all been found to contribute to the risk of ADHD. However, myths surrounding excessive sugar consumption and too much screen time being linked to ADHD have been debunked.
According to the ADHD Awareness Month website:
"ADHD is NOT caused by moral failure, poor parenting, family problems, poor teachers or schools, too much TV, food allergies, or excess sugar. Instead, research shows that ADHD is both highly genetic (with the majority of ADHD cases having a genetic component), and a brain-based disorder."
ADHD symptoms generally appear before the age of seven although, for a variety of reasons, some children are not diagnosed until later.
Some children have inattention symptoms, others predominantly have hyperactivity and impulsivity symptoms, however, most children have a mixture of both types:
ADHD can effect a child's school life and academic activities, relationships with peers, and life in the home. Children with ADHD find it hard to stay focused for long periods of time, are unable to organise themselves, and cannot regulate their impulses. Some children with ADHD may even find it almost impossible to stop fidgeting and remain seated, and almost all children with ADHD have periods of low frustration, tolerance and find it hard to follow rules. Many of them may also be poor at physical sports, and often appear bossy and/or intrusive when they play with their peers. As a result, these children face a number of different social challenges because other children may think they are annoying and immature. In other words, these children may find it hard to make friends and then keep them.
Though ADHD cannot be cured, prompt identification of the underlying disorder and a comprehensive treatment plan can help avoid many difficulties and reduce the symptoms of ADHD. A doctor can integrate information from home, school and the hospital visit to be able to diagnose whether your child has ADHD.
There are a number of available treatments available in Qatar to counter ADHD and help improve the child's life. These treatments may include assessment using questionnaires, scales and other-information collecting information methods from parents and teachers, psychotherapy, behaviour interventions, medications, training, educational support amongst others. A child with ADHD may even receive a combination of these treatments to improve the way he/she functions in daily life at home, in school and outside the home.
Qatar has been instrumental in setting up school guidance clinics where psychologists provide services to ADHD children in school so they can have a better and brighter academic future, and Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) works with parents, school teachers and psychologists to offer ADHD support groups to help children.
HMC's CAMHS is a specialised multi-disciplinary service for children and young people up to the age of 18. It offers a broad range of services which support the emotional well-being and mental health of children and young people in Qatar – also providing support to their families and carers. The service offers a comprehensive assessment and treatment of a wide range of child and adolescent mental health problems like ADHD and including other complex cases, and tries to tailor the service and support it offers to the needs of each individual.
For more information on the types of mental health treatment, therapies and services provided by HMC, click HERE.
Timings: Sunday to Thursday: 7 am - 3 pm
Location: HMC Mental Health Service, Ar-Rayyan, Doha - Qatar
Tel: +974 6691 2020 / 16060
E-mail: [email protected]Sidra Medicine’s Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services
At Sidra Medicine, CAMHS can provide your child and family with quality mental health services and resources. Their goal is to increase community awareness of mental health concerns in children and adolescents, including anxiety, depression, ADHD, and autism-related disorders. There are no stigmas here. When it comes to mental health, CAMHS believes it is of the utmost importance that everyone has access to the compassionate, knowledgeable healthcare they need.
The goal of Sidra's psychology team is to help children and young people understand and cope with their thoughts and feelings. When they meet with the child and family, they work together to come to an understanding of the things that are difficult for a child or young person. In working with the family, they will also create a treatment plan on how best to help. This is done through talking and asking questions and, above all, listening to what matters to that child or young person. Games are played or drawing done together (play therapy) to help them get to know a young person better. Sometimes they ask a young person to keep a diary or chart to record their thoughts, feelings, actions, or symptoms.
For more information on the types of ADHD treatment, therapies and services provided by Sidra, click HERE.
Timings: Sunday to Thursday: 7 am - 3 pm
Location: Floors 1B and 2M, Department of Psychiatry at Sidra Medicine, Sidra Medicine Outpatient Building, Al Gharrafa Street, Ar-Rayyan, Doha - Qatar
Tel: +974 4003 3333
E-mail: [email protected]
Al Ahli Hospital has a dedicated psychiatric department that helps individuals suffering from mental health issues to overcome the problem and lead happy, fulfilling lives.
Al Ahli's team of experts in the field of mental health provide ADHD treatment that includes, but is not limited to just psychotherapy, behavior modification techniques and medication (if needed), which helps children lead better lives at home and outside the home.
For more information on the types of mental health problems treated, click HERE.
Location: Ahmed Bin Ali Street. Wadi Al Sail, Doha - Qatar
Tel: +974 4489 8888
Fax: +974 4489 8989
E-mail: [email protected]
Timings: Sunday to Wednesday: 8 am to 9 pm; Saturday and Thursday: 8 am to 5 pm
Dr. Aju’s Clinic opened in Doha in January 2007 and is run by Dr Aju Abraham; a UK qualified Consultant Psychiatrist with years of experience in the treatment of mental health problems in children, adults and the older age group which include ADHD. The clinic has a strong emphasis on the combination of routine psychiatric evaluation along with psychometric testing for a complete and accurate evaluation and treatment of mental and behavioural disorders. Various forms of treatments are available using psycho-pharmacological, psycho-therapeutic and psychological methods for a wide range of problems. The clinic has a strong emphasis on the combination of routine psychiatric evaluation along with psychometric testing for a complete and accurate evaluation and treatment of mental and behavioural disorders.
For more information on the types of mental health problems treated and their treatment at Dr. Aju's Clinic, click HERE.
The Qatar ADHD Support group, which works under the umbrella of Hamad Medical Corporation, is a well established local Qatari professional forum since 2008. This non-profit group of parents, healthcare professionals and teachers. provides information, training and practical help on the services, benefits and other resources available to carers and children with ADHD. It aims to raise awareness of the needs of families living with ADHD. Their website further improves communication among professionals working in the field and provides easy access to information and news regarding this condition for families.
The group has developed educational material relating to ADHD and reaches out to the media to help dispel myths and stereotypes about the condition.
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