Abu Dhabi: Enrolling children at nurseries from a young age can be an effective way of helping them overcome communication disorders.

Childhood development experts therefore recommend that children start attending nurseries staffed by qualified professionals even when they are just a year old.

“Not only do they gain more experiences but they get a chance to interact with more people on a regular basis, which necessitates the development of communication skills. They also adhere to a routine, which can aid language development,” said Dr Heidi Alaskary, deputy executive director for research at the Prince Salman Centre for Disability Research in Saudi Arabia.

Nurseries in the UAE are also adept at helping parents whose children have communication disorders or delays.

“When a parent comes in with a child experiencing a delay or suffering from a disorder, we first assess the child’s reports and discuss what therapies are being used. Are they struggling with a specific sound, or are they unsure of when to speak? We then carry out any therapies that have been prescribed, or use structured books with pictures,” said Nicky Smith, nurse at Redwood Nursery in Abu Dhabi.

“Our staff have also picked up disorders in children enrolled here, and we then inform parents and suggest therapists they can approach,” she added.

At the 15 branches of the British Orchard Nusery across the UAE, staff work to ensure that children reach their developmental milestones, including language and literacy skills.

“We read more often to children facing delays, and use flash cards to help them develop their vocabulary,” said Vandana Gandhi, nursery founder.

She added that nursery staff also help first-time mothers detect any deficits so that they can seek therapy early if required.