UAE: After years of struggle with autism,11-year-old boy shows 85 per cent improvement



Dubai medical centre successfully treats Egyptian child who has been suffering from disorder since age of two

An 11-year-old Egyptian boy, who has been suffering from ADHD (Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) and ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) since the age of two, showed remarkable improvement after receiving treatment at a medical centre in Dubai.

Iyad Ibrahim Abdelhafiz parents ran from pillar to post for several years, to treat their son's disorder, but couldn’t get a satisfactory results. “Within just three months of the treatment, we observed an improvement in his behaviour and mannerisms. The therapy at Hayati Health Center was working on him,” explained Ibrahim Abdelhafiz, Iyad’s father.

The parents were worried that their son would not achieve age-appropriate developmental milestones. “Iyad hardly talked, and his skills were not keeping up with other kids of his age when he was 2 years old.

The couple had earlier opted for treatment in Saudi Arabia and later in Egypt for 4 years, but the results were negligible. “We were severely disappointed and losing hope. Meanwhile, Iyad’s struggles continued, as he grew more stubborn with no social skills and this was very concerning,” said Abdelhafiz.

ADHD is a brain disorder that affects how you pay attention, sit still, and control your behaviour. Children with the illness often avoid eye contact and don’t seem interested in playing or engaging with others. Both ADHD and ASD are neuro developmental disorders affecting proper brain development.

Can ADHD and ASD affect a child together?

Medicos say that more than half of all individuals diagnosed with ASD also have signs of ADHD, which coexists in children with ASD. It is difficult to differentiate between the two as they appear to be similar, but keen observations and detailed analysis show different symptoms. “For the first time, when we met Iyad, he presented himself as impulsive, hyperactive, inattentive, and with poor eye contact. His parents were concerned about his social skills, communication skills, and independent living skills," said Sulaiman G Ahmaz, certified autism specialist.

Within two-and-a-half months of treatment, Iyad showed 85 per cent improvement. “Seeing Iyad so much calmer and independent, brought tears to our eyes. Taking him outdoors or to malls was so much easier as he exhibited great dining etiquette and exceptionally good behaviour, surprising us and making it much more easier for us to handle him,” he added.

Giving details of the devised treatment plan, Ahmaz said: “Social skills, communication skills, emotional regulation, and independent living skills were daily protocols used as part of the treatment. We followed evidence-based approach and combined ABA therapy and speech therapy as per Iyad’s conditions,” explained the specialist.

“We receive several patients from the Middle East because they know that children will receive good care and we can make a difference in their lives,” said Dr Ahmed Hussein, managing director of Hayati Health Center.