Symposium Discusses Ways to Tackle ADHD at Home, School

10 December 2004

For the first time in the Middle East, a two-day symposium on Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) was held at the King Faisal Specialist Hospital & Research Center (KFSH & RC) with experts from the Kingdom and the Gulf region taking part.

The speakers discussed strategies for managing ADHD at home and in school as well as methods for dealing with the disease later in life.

They also had a look at ADHD from a multidisciplinary perspective and parallel sessions were held in Arabic and English. During the two-day symposium which ended yesterday, the topics addressed included “those of concern to the parents and educators, as well as those of interest to health care professionals.”

The opening ceremony was attended by Prince Talal, Arabian Gulf Fund president; Education Minister Muhammad ibn Ahmad Al-Rasheed; Health Minister Dr. Hamad ibn Abdullah Al-Manie; and Dr. Qassem ibn Othman Al-Ghosaibi, deputy counsel and supervisor of the KFSH & RC.

Speaking on the occasion, Prince Talal stressed that scientific research was an important pillar of every nation.

“History has shown that civilization has been advanced by research and science in different specialties. Scienfitic research is a vital tool for development,” he told the symposium.

He said a good educational system will result in enhanced interest in research, adding that developed countries always re-check and re-evaluate their educational systems with a view to upgrading them.

Prince Talal stressed that education is very important for progress and commended the efforts to create awareness of diseases ignored before. He thanked the KFSH & RC for holding the symposium.

The prince added that aside from medical measures, the community also has an important role in helping prevent ADHD by having more knowledge about it and suggested the creation of a national advisory committee to combat the disease. The private health sector can also play a major role in this regard.

The education minister acknowledged that ADHD is observed among schoolchildren and “we need specialized people to take care of them.”

Dr. Soad Al-Yamani, chairperson of the symposium’s organizing committee, underscored the importance of diagnosing and treating ADHD among children, adding that this will prevent them from living an abnormal life.

She suggested the formation of a group to deal with the problem and the creation of a website in Arabic where the public can get information about the disease.

She cited famous people who had ADHD but eventually became successful and they included former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, German musical genius Ludwig Beethoven, English writer Agatha Christie and scientist Albert Einstein.

Source: Arab News