Division of Child and Adolescent Mental Health, Department of Psychiatry
Sidra’s children psychiatry clinic opened in May 2016 and provides assessments, diagnosis, one-on-one as well as family therapy and recommendations for specific social or school support for children with special needs.
To access the services provided by the children psychiatry clinic, patients need a referral from a physician in Qatar—either from a public or private healthcare provider—or from a school. “Most of the referrals we receive are from schools,” said Dr. Muhammad Waqar Azeem, who heads Sidra’s department of psychiatry and chairs the Ministry of Public Health’s national autism working group. “Any school counsellor, from both private and public schools in Qatar, can make direct referrals to our child psychiatry clinic,” he said.
Division of Developmental Pediatrics
Sidra Medical and Research Centre also has a developmental paediatric division for children with special needs, from birth until 14 years of age. “We do accept children up to 18 years old if they have learning difficulties or intellectual disabilities,” specified Dr. Fatima Janjua, acting division chief of the division of developmental paediatrics.
“We currently accept newborns after discharge,” said Dr. Janjua, “however, it is worth noting that Sidra will open a specialist high-risk infant follow-up clinic in January 2017 managed by paediatric neonatologists.”
Sidra’s division of developmental paediatrics opened in June 2016 and is equipped to treat moderate to severe forms of developmental conditions.
As is the case for any clinic at Sidra, patients need a referral to access the services provided by the division of developmental paediatrics. Referrals are accepted from physicians in both private and public healthcare, as well as private and public schools.
Contact: +974 4003-3333
Hours: Sunday to Thursday 07:00–15:00
Disability parking stickers
Doha residents with disabilities may be entitled to a disability parking sticker, which allows its owners to use accessible parking spaces around Doha. To obtain a sticker, residents need to contact their general practitioner, who will compile and provide them with a form, which needs to be submitted to the Qatar traffic department.
Hamad Medical Corporation offers a home healthcare team, which works on a small scale with patients with severe disabilities who need primary nursing care. A therapy team instructs parents as to how they can meet their child’s basic needs—for example, feeding them or putting them in bed—however, full-scale home-based assistance is not available at the time of writing.
Hearing and visual impairment
Al Noor Institute for the Blind (+974 6648-1497) and Qatar Institute for Speech and Hearing (qish.info) specifically cater to adults and children with hearing and visual impairments. They both work closely with Hamad Medical Corporation and Sidra Medical and Research Center.
Qatar’s National Autism Plan
The Ministry of Public Health’s National Autism Working Group was tasked with creating a national autism plan, which, at the time of writing, is waiting for sign off from the Minister of Public Health. The plan, which will be implemented over five years, rests on six pillars: awareness in the general public, early screening and detection of autism, timely diagnosis, intervention, role of schools in providing services to children with autism and transition to adulthood.