• Child development centre is a centre usually run under the lead of Consultant Neurodevelopment Paediatricians.
• Every child born in the UK is kept under health surveillance (screening); from birth to the age of 5 years by a health visitor.
• From 5 years old till 18 years by school nurses.
• In this period of childhood screening, if there is any difficulty in development, growth, learning difficulty, behaviour problem, neuro disability or neurodevelopment is suspected the child is referred to a Child Development centre usually lead by a consultant community paediatrician and supported by a multi-disciplinary team.
What happens in a Child Development centre?
• The child is subject to thorough assessment by a neuro development paediatrician who may consult alone or with selected, relevant to the case, other members of a multidisciplinary team.
• Paediatrician tries to establish correct diagnosis after history, different neurodevelopment tests, and if indicated investigations.
• Consultations usually last 1 hour to 1 1/2hours or in some cases more.
• Once the diagnosis is established the child is referred to other relevant staff of multidisciplinary CDC team mainly for treatment.
• Then the progress of child is supported and monitored by CDC team, in some cases till the age of 18 years or over.
• Of course, this is also a centre of teaching and training of medical students, and all other health professionals.
It is also staffed by a multi-disciplinary team such as:
• Speech Therapists
• Occupational therapists
• Clinical Psychologists
Child Development Centre is also supported by:
• Educational Psychologists
• Special Need Specialist teachers
• Provided and also funded by Social Services and Education department
• Specialist health visitors
• Monitoring of weight height and growth
• Providing and monitoring Childhood immunisation especially by health visitors
Using the British model and considering a population of 100,000, out of that 35,000 -40,000 of those being children.
Approximately 1-2 % of children will suffer some disability or disorder, and some of these difficulties may be life long, and in need of a standard and strong CDC team.
Within the NHS every Local Authority has a team of 4.5 full time Consultant Paediatricians and a range of other multidisciplinary staff responsible for assessing, diagnosing and treatment for the duration of when it is required.
In the NHS most of the aforementioned CDC’s are struggling due to lack of resources, in some cases the waiting list is 1-2 years for initial assessment. This is unacceptable in this day and age when these difficulties can affect a child’s life. Many families are disappointed and frustrated and try to seek help privately but private sector is even worse as there are so many professionals selling their services individually but there is nowhere in the UK offering the concept of Child Development Centre where children can be assessed, diagnosed, treated, provided and cared for by multi-disciplinary team under one roof.
One Stop Shop
In the private sector even in London there is not a child development centre where GP’s or parents can refer a child for assessment and one stop shop treatment.
We must not forget that in developing countries and also some Middle Eastern countries this concept is non-existent. Affluent people from the Middle East and Africa seek the help and consultation from UK based Consultants. Unfortunately, there is no single centre where a child can be singly assessed by a multi-disciplinary team assessment with one treatment plan, e.g. an autistic child from abroad will be seen, by a Consultant Paediatrician, then referred to a speech therapist then maybe an Educational Psychologist and possibly an Occupational Therapist. This merely delays the process; it is not a consistent one stop shop treatment and plan. This is where the Harley Street Child Development Clinic aims to plug a gap.
If we consider one aspect of child development, Autism there are approximately 770,000 children and now adults in the UK who are not receiving the best possible treatment and approach to their difficulties.
Our aim is to establish a strong child development centre here in London and invite our expert colleagues from all over the world to treat, teach and train it could be very beneficial to the country and rest of the world.
There are thousands of children who are in dire need of this strong established child development centres. Once established in London the team of professionals may visit other parts of the world as a tour such as Middle East, Africa, Far East and South east Asia where they could periodically visit, assess children, diagnose and provide correct treatment.
This a brief list of some cases usually seen in Child Development centre
• Autism, Asperger Syndrome, ADHD, Learning difficulty.
• Neuro disabilities and neuro deficiencies caused to children born premature or other neonatal complications.
• Developmental problem of children, such as delay with speech and language, Gross motor problems, Fine motor problems.
• Dyspraxia, Dyslexia.
• Cerebral Palsy, Myopathies.
• Neuro disabilities and Neuro deficiencies of children due to serious illnesses and accidents.
• Syndrome disorders.
• Due to inborn error of metabolism
• Due to Genetic and Chromosomal disorders.
• Hearing impairment and defects.
• Visual impairment and disabilities caused by impairment.
The above mentioned difficulties of children are some of the disorders and disabilities of children of a range of diagnosable disorders which may affect any child from birth to any age within their childhood.
Unfortunately the majority of these disabilities and disorders are irreversible and lifelong except some of the minor developmental disorders. Please note in the majority of cases the treatment is limited, mainly therapeutic and supportive provision and care.
It is important and vital that;
• There is an early diagnosis, and early intervention is established with early therapeutic intervention, the therapy is much more effective and outcome, is better.
• There is consideration given to how these cases are assessed diagnosed and by whom? What is the experience and expertise of the specialist?
• Once the diagnosis established to consider how the cases are managed and supported through out their life span with the child’s special needs, in their education, with their physical health and with their social life
• Consideration is given to who provides care support and help to the child as they are special need children
• Consideration is given to how their special educational needs are met and provided