Diagnosis & Management of autism spectrum disorder, ADHD, Depression, Paediatric Anxiety Disorders, role of music therapy discussed by various speakers


 Child Psychiatry Seminar at Faisalabad

Diagnosis & Management of autism spectrum
disorder, ADHD, Depression, Paediatric Anxiety
Disorders, role of music therapy discussed
by various speakers

FMU to start MD in Psychiatry and M. Phil in
Behavioural Sciences - Prof. Fareed Zafar

FAISALABAD: Diagnosis & Management of Autism Spectrum Disorder, Depression, Paediatric Anxiety Disorders, ADHD. Role of clinical psychologists and Teachers besides efficacy of music therapy were discussed in detail by various speakers at the Child Psychiatry Seminar organized by Dept.of Psychiatry and Behavioural Sciences at Faisalabad Medical University held here on October 21, 2017.

 The Vice Chancellor of Faisalabad Medical University Prof. Dr. Al Fareed Zafar in his address on the occasion announced to start MD in Psychiatry and M.Phil. in Behavioral Sciences in FMU in near future. He emphasized the importance of understanding the disorders, their ever increasing prevalence, their impact on physical co morbidity, and its impact on mental health of parents and guardians. He assured that positive steps will be taken to enhance the child psychiatric services. He was of the view that in every clinical unit there must be a counselor/psychologist/mental health professional to address associated psychiatric problems within physical conditions. He nominated Prof. Dr. Imtiaz Ahmad Dogar as a focal person to address issues for child psychiatric services in Faisalabad and its vicinity.


Prof. Farid Minhas, Prof. Waqar Azeem, Prof. Imtiaz Dogar, Dr. Nazish Imran and others
photographed at the Child Psychiatry seminar held
at Faisalabad recently.

At the seminar a number of international & national guest speakers from the discipline of child & adolescence psychiatry shared their wisdom and expertise in the light of their experience. They included Prof. M. Waqar Azeem, Dr. Ayesha Minhas, Dr. Nazish Imran, Dr. Shahryar Jovindah and Col. Dr. Nadeem Ahmad. The faculty and staff members of Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences FMU, the consultants, residents from various specialties, within and out of city, clinical psychologists, physiotherapists, educationists from different schools and parents were in attendance.

Dr. Nighat Haider, briefly explained the importance of child psychiatry and the purpose of this seminar. The department she said, is already providing services in comprehensive assessment, management/training/treatment/therapeutic consultation, medication and stress management that are family services plans (IFP’s) for child related psychiatric disorders such as neurodevelopmental disorders, emotional and behavioral disorders, speech and language disorders etc.  

Prof. Imtiaz Ahmad Dogar who was the chief organizer, gave a detailed presentation regarding ongoing services and laid emphasis on future needs regarding child psychiatry. He also mentioned the services offered by the institute in all related fields including child, forensic, and old age psychiatry, clinical psychology and other related disciplines like human development and family studies. He gave an overview of the child psychiatric services being provided at the institute, a whole day per week is spared only for this purpose. He requested Prof. Dr. Hina Aisha future Dean of children hospital, Faisalabad, to start a child psychiatry department in children hospital so that psychiatric services can be provided to children in a more systematic way.

Dr. Maryam Khokhar, highlighted the child behavioral and emotional issue. Dr. Shahryar Jovindah, discussed depression in children and adolescents. He explained that contrary to common belief, depression in children is far more common. He emphasized on training oneself to being able to identify depression in children as the presentation is different in them, mostly with somatic complaints like tummy ache, or just irritability. Especially in Pakistan there are more burdens of studies on children as compared with western world, school education being started at a very early age, leading to more stress and susceptibility to developing depression. Parents are reluctant to seek psychiatric help for their children because of stigma attached to it. Dr. Aniqa Shafi, enlightened the audience on the role of teacher in child’s life and how school environment can be conducive for development of healthy person.

Prof. Waqar Azeem along with Prof. Farid Zafar VC FMU presenting mementoes to Prof. Farid Minhas,
Dr. Nazish Imran, Dr. Imtiaz Dogar and others at the Child Psychiatry seminar held at Faisalabad recently.

Dr. Nazish Imran from KEMU Lahore spoke about pediatric anxiety disorders. She emphasized that anxiety disorders are the most common among childhood psychiatric problems and have significant adverse impact. She highlighted different types of anxiety disorders in light of DSM-5, and discussed basic principles of assessment like interviewing the young one on their own using age appropriate language, as well as the parents or close adults. She especially emphasized evaluating the parental level of stress/anxiety and parental practices.  She briefly discussed some tools of assessment for childhood anxiety disorders and stressed on multifaceted treatment referring CBT being the first line.

Miss Samreen Afzal, highlighted the role of clinical psychologist and speech & language therapist in the field of child psychiatry. She threw light on the child psychiatric services being provided at the institute. She gave a brief account on services provided to kids with special needs like ID, ADHD, ASD, depression and anxiety disorders, and also addressing the worries and concerns of their parents, educating them regarding the illness and prognosis. She explained the role of behavior modification (ABA) methods and development of IEP’s by clinical psychologist while working with children. Role of speech therapist was also briefly discussed.

Col. Dr. Nadeem Ahmad made an interesting presentation on role of music therapy in childhood psychiatric disorders. He explained what music therapy really is and what principles are involved. It has social and humanistic psychological roots, and individuals of all age groups can benefit from it. It can affect areas of communication, cognition, physical, social, emotional and neurological functioning. Main indications are anxiety disorders, PTSD, trauma interventions, emotional and disruptive disorders, autism, depression, among others. It’s contraindicated in active psychosis.

Dr. Isra Shakoor discussed aggression, its modalities, symptoms and causes. She emphasized upon understanding the reasons behind aggressive behavior and controlling those factors than putting the child on medication as first line. Dr. Ayesha Minhas enlightened the audience about ADHD. She discussed the etiology, symptomatology and treatment plan for ADHD. She said that screening for ADHD should be part of every patient’s mental health assessment. And we should be cautious while assessing for ADHD as it’s becoming an over diagnosed condition, probably as a fashion. Every kid that comes to your clinic and is running here and there is not necessarily with ADHD. She also discussed the safety of stimulant drugs.

Dr. Aqsa Anwar, talked about fear & phobias in children. She spoke about attachment needs of children, its importance in years to come and parental behaviors that can save child from its adverse effects of unmet attachment needs. She advised spending quality time with kids, addressing their fears and providing a sense of security to them.

Prof. Dr. M. Waqar Azeem an eminent child and adolescent Psychiatrist in USA currently deputed in Qatar to help them build an ideal child and adolescent psychiatric facility was the next speaker. His presentation covered the topic of autism spectrum disorder- latest in prevalence, diagnosis, and treatment. He said that the prevalence is 2-5/10,000 according to DSM-4. And 8.9 to 11.7% in intellectually disabled. He further stated that diagnosis of ASD has shifted from categorical to dimensional. Autism, Asperger disorder, childhood disintegrative disorder, and PDDNOS all are collectively described as autism spectrum disorders. He showed an interesting video to help understand how a child with ASD sees the world. He also raised a very important point and cleared by stating scientific research based evidence that there is no causation involved between vaccines and autism. Assessment for ASD involves interdisciplinary approach and treatment is multimodal. Speech therapy has proved to be beneficial and should be started as early as possible. And as for medication; start low and titrate slow.

His presentation was followed by a panel discussion wherein issues like child abuse, taking care of your own mental health while treating patients, use of stimulants for ADHD, availability of clinical services, identification of psychiatric problems in children by pediatricians, were all discussed. Dr. Muneeb Mushtaq, briefly talked about drug abuse in children. He also highlighted the ratio of abuse and juvenile tendencies.

Prof. Fareed Minhas in his concluding remarks thanked all the guest speakers, consultants and resident trainees from psychiatry and other specialties who joined the seminar, psychologists, parent and the organizers. He congratulated the organizing committee for making this event possible and acknowledged their contributions to psychiatry as a whole. He appreciated efforts of department as they have designed flyers on healthy parenting tips, ideal school/teacher, prevention and management of bullying and aggression that was being appreciated by everyone. He said that child psychiatry is relatively neglected field. The scale of the problem is too magnanimous for psychiatrists alone to cater to.  Hence, it is imperative to train non-psychiatric people to bridge the treatment gap, like psychologists, pediatricians, and primary health care professionals. (PR)