Early childhood: A CAQ government will launch an offensive to detect learning disorders earlierPublished on January 22 2018
In brief :
- We must act as early as possible to detect neurodevelopmental problems which are responsible for learning disorders and mental health issues in children
- Guaranteed access to a family physician must be established for newborns and young children, since they are often the first filter in early detection of neurodevelopmental disorders.
- Early detection must be done for all young children who have learning difficulties before they start school, by adding specialists to the CLSCs.
At the opening of the pre sessional caucus of his political party, the leader of the Coalition Avenir Québec, François Legault, announced that he has entrusted to Dr. Lionel Carmant, a neurologist and researcher who has worked with children at the Sainte-Justine hospital for many years, the mandate to prepare a strategy for early detection and intervention of neurodevelopmental problems in all children of Québec. Mr. Carmant will be assisted by Members of the National Assembly (MNAs) Geneviève Guilbault, François Paradis, and Jean-François Roberge, spokespersons for the CAQ, respectively, in family matters, health, and education, to accomplish this mandate.
A CAQ government will put in motion several measures to detect learning disorders as early as possible in young children, promised François Legault. Among these: Guaranteed access for all newborns and young children to a family doctor maximum three months after their birth.
According to Mr. Legault, it is paramount that children with learning disabilities are screened as early as possible, and that their parents have rapid access to specialised services, such as speech therapists, among others.
In march 2017, nearly 17 000 children aged 5 and under were on a waiting list, waiting to find a family doctor, regretted the CAQ leader. Family doctors are often the first filter in the screening and early detection of neurodevelopmental problems.
The CAQ strategy will rely heavily on interdisciplinarity, since the detection and treatment cannot be done uniquely by doctors. For the CAQ, they must be done in CLSCs, by making use of all health specialists and professionals, such as nurses, speech-language pathologists, or occupational therapists, for example.
“It is necessary that we take all possible means in order to help all our youth to succeed. For this, we must act as early as possible. It is imperative that every parent is able to access a diagnosis rapidly, so that any neurological problems or symptoms of their child’s learning disability will be detected”
MNA of L’Assomption, leader of the CAQ
“In my practice, at Sainte-Justine, I see children every day with neurodevelopmental problems, which translate into learning disorders. What science and examples elsewhere in the world are showing is that if we intervene early with them, we can help them succeed. In Québec, we have the CLSC, within which we could carry out screening in coordination with daycares, schools and various specialists”
Dr. Lionel Carmant
Neurologist and researcher at CHU Sainte-Justine