ACC | AUBMC Special Kids Clinic
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AUBMC Special Kids Clinic

About us


  • To provide special kids and their families with compassionate, multidisciplinary, and comprehensive state-of-the-art care promising to optimize children’s intellectual and physical development in order to prepare them for full integration into school and society at large.
  • To educate pediatricians, nurses, and other allied health professionals in addition to the general public about the needs of special kids and optimal ways to meet their physical, emotional, and educational requirements.
  • To conduct research into the underlying epidemiology, genetics, and cell biology of neurogenetic, neuro-developmental, and pediatric neurodegenerative diseases.



A yearly growth of 30% is expected in the year 2017. We aim to establish unique centers which cater for the needs of all children in Lebanon and the region. These would include Centers of Excellence for autism, neurogenetic disorders, and pediatric epilepsy.


Dr. Rose-Mary Boustany

Professor, Head of Pediatric Neurology
American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology with Special Qualifications in Child Neurology American Board of Human Genetics
Specialty: Pediatric Neurology, Genetic
Ext.: 7580 – 5640

Dr. Rolla Shbarou
Assistant Professor, Pediatric Neurology
American Board of Pediatrics and Neurology with Special Qualifications in Child Neurology
Specialty: Pediatric Neurology, Epilepsy
Ext.: 7580 – 7905

Dr. Makram Obeid
Assistant Professor, Pediatric Neurology
American Board of Pediatrics and Neurology
Specialty: Pediatric Neurology, Epilepsy
Ext.: 7580


Hala Maacaron

Executive Assistant
Ext.: 5640/1

Laudy Masaad
Registered Nurse
Ext.: 7455

Frida Araman
Clinical Assistant
Ext.: 7580

Salam Zbib
Clinical Assistant
Ext.: 7580


Mona Krayem 

Senior Speech Therapist
Ext.: 7580

Ramia Nasrallah
Feeding Specialist
Ext.: 7580

Layla Ghossoub
Speech Therapist
Ext. : 7580

Norma Bou Khalil
Physical Therapist
Ext. : 7580

Racha Kahil
Physical Therapist
Ext. : 7580

Elias Salame
Occupational Therapist
Ext. : 7580

Razane Saleh
Occupational Therapist
Ext. : 7580

Sahar Saliba
Psychomotor Therapist
Ext. : 7580

Clarisse El-Ramy

Psychomotor Therapist

Ext. 7580

Maritherese Saade
ABA Specialist/Program Coordinator
Ext. : 7580

Jeannette Bejjani
Senior ABA Therapist
Ext. : 7580

Sarah Saad
Senior ABA Therapist
Ext. : 7580

Jean-Louis Ghazi
Senior ABA Therapist
Ext. : 7580

Residents and Fellows

Dr. Ahmad Hammoud, PGY 6,
Beeper 0283

Dr. Chady Alam, PGY 5,
Beeper 0313

Dr. Mona Hneini, PGY 4

Community Outreach
  • School outreach program
  • Parent training in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)
  • Shadow teacher training
  • Parental guidance for feeding, speech, occupational, psychomotor, and physical therapy
  • In-home care/therapies
Patient Care
  • Devoted and highly specialized allied health professionals who will assist pediatric neurologists in the diagnosis, management, and care of dually disabled children.
  • Dedicated pediatric physical therapists, occupational and psychomotor therapists, and speech and feeding specialists who will provide much needed regular therapy sessions in a multidisciplinary team approach, ensuring the informed, comprehensive and coordinated care of children with special needs.
  • A  Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) will assess the child and offer the following services based on the individual need of each child:
    • Conduct functional assessments and behavior intervention plan
    • Supervise and manage each program
    • Assign a senior behavior therapist to train families, shadow teachers, and therapists in the implementation of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) principles
    • Assign an ABA therapist to the child (ABA therapy is conducted in the child’s home or school)
    • Collaborate with all other members of the child’s educational environment and offer school inclusion support
  • Initial comprehensive assessments with follow-up for patients living in the vicinity, take-home plans for those living far away, and liaison with specialized individuals through an extensive database of similar services available in remote areas of Lebanon. The same applies to other countries in the region such as Syria, Iraq, Jordan, Egypt, Morocco, Bahrain and Qatar.
  • Regular reevaluations for readjustment of early intervention plans based on individual progress achieved.
  • Ultimate integration and mainstreaming into schools with dedicated and specialized services.


Divisions & Services

Our clinic caters to the needs of our little patients. We are adjacent to the main medical center and our waiting area opens onto a specially designed play area for children. In addition to having a facility that is easily accessible to all patients, our therapy rooms and clinics are especially outfitted with automated examination tables, children’s furniture, educational toys, specialized equipment, ordinary toys and test batteries used in the assessment and treatment of children with special needs.

The Special Kids Clinic offers various services that include:

  • Autism and neurodevelopmental disorders
  • Epilepsy
  • General Pediatric neurology
  • Neuromuscular disorders
  • Neurogenetics
  • Speech and feeding therapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Physical therapy
  • Psychomotor therapy
  • Applied behavior analysis
  1. Schulz A., Moussallem T, Luberto C, Bielawska A, Bielawski J, Jazwinski M, Holthuis M,   Boustany R-M N. CLN9: a regulator of dihydroceramide synthase and dihydroceramide desaturase? Journal of Biological Chemistry, Feb 2006; 281: 2784 – 2794.
  2. Teixeira CA. Lin S. Mangas M. Quinta R. Bessa CJ. Ferreira C. Sa Miranda MC. Boustany Ribeiro MG. Gene expression profiling in vLINCL CLN6-deficient fibroblasts: Insights into pathobiology.Biochimica et Biophysica Acta. 1762(7):637-46, 2006 Jul.
  3. Persaud-Sawin DA; Mousallem T; Wang, Ch; Zucker A; Kominami E; Boustany R-M N. Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinosis: A Common Pathway? Pediatric Research 2007, 61(2):146-152.
  4. Kassem Barada, Georges Nemer, Ihab I. El-Hajj, Johnny Touma, Nadim Cortas, Rose-Mary Boustany and Julnar Usta . Early and Severe Liver Disease Associated with Homozygosity for an Exon-7 Mutation, G691R, in Wilson’s Disease. Clinical Genetics. 72(3):264-7, 2007 Sep.
  5. Boustany R-M Britton JW Parisi JE Keegan BM. A 23 year old with Seizures and Blindness. CPC Jan 1, 2008; 70: 73-78
  6. Rusyn E, Mousallem T, Persaud-Sawin D, Miller S, Boustany R-M. CLN3p impacts Galactosylceramide Transport, Raft Morphology and Lipid Content. Ped Res 63(6):625-31, 2008.
  7. Vossler, D.G., Conry, J.A., Murphy, J.V., Boustany, R-M., Legarda, S., Ruggles, K., Schachter, S., Krishnamurthy, K., Sheth, R., Vazquez, B., Barkley, G., Chugani, H., Duchowny, M., Flamini, R., Sirven, J., Uthman, B., Wheless, J., Asconape, J., Miller, C.S., Pellock, , Van Orman, C., Filloux, F. Zonisamide for the treatment of myoclonic seizures in progressive myoclonic epilepsy: An open-label study. Epileptic Disorders, 2009. 10(1):31-34.  
  8. El-Bitar M, Boustany R-M. Common Causes of Uncommon Seizure. Pediatric Neurology, 41 (2):83-87, 2009
  9. El-Bitar MK, Muwakkit SA, Abboud MR, Sawaya RA, Boustany R-M. Morvan Syndrome Following B-cell Lymphoma. J Child Neurol, OnlineFirst, January 28, 2010.
  10. Fadi T. Maalouf, M.D., Camelia Hatoum, MS, Mia Atwi, BA, Rose-Mary N. Boustany, M.D. Psychiatric Co-morbidities in Common Genetic Disorders with Physical Disability. Pediatric Health. Volume 4, Number 6, pp. 591-601 2010 (11).
  11. Rogers ZR, Wang WC, Luo Z, Iyer RV, Shalaby-Rana E, Dertinger SD, Shulkin BL, Miller JH, Files B, Lane PA, Thompson BW, Miller ST, Ware RE; BABY HUG. Driscoll MC, Speller-Brown B, Martin B, Glass P, Krohn K, Jiles C, Handy J, Tsuchida T, Chang T, Minniti C, O’Connell M, Heath C, Azine R, Darbari D, Washington-Batts L, Carpenter J, Luchtman-Jones L, Burgos A, Ware R, Schultz W, Davis J, Bonner M, Boustany RM, et al. Biomarkers of splenic function in infants with sickle cell anemia: baseline data from the BABY HUG Trial. Blood. 2011 Mar 3;117(9):2614-7.
  12. El-Haddad S, Khoury M, Daoud M, Hayat Harati, Mousallem T, Alzate O, Meyer B and Boustany R-M. CLN5 and CLN8 as Ceramide Synthase Modulators. Electrophoresis 2012, 33, 3798–3809.
  13. Raad M, Tal T, Gul R, Mondello S, Zhang Z, Boustany R-M , Kobaissy F. Neuroproteomics Approach & Neurosystems Biology Analysis: ROCK Inhibitors as Promising Therapeutic Targets in Neurodegeneration & Neurotrauma. Electrophoresis., Article published online: 26 NOV 2012, DOI: 10.1002/elps.201200470
  14. Razafsha M, Fadlallah B, Boustany R-M and Kobeissy FH. Systems biology, bioinformatics, and biomarkers in neuropsychiatry. Frontiers in Neuroscience. Published 24 Dec doi: 10.3389/fnins.2012.00187
  15. Soueid J and Boustany R-M N. Autism Susceptibility Genes in the Lebanese Population.
  16. F H. Kobeissi, A M. Alawieh, S Mondello, R-M Boustany, Mark S Gold. Biomarkers in Psychiatry: How close are we? Psychiatry. doi: 3389/fpsyt.2012.00114
  17. Rose-Mary Naaman Boustany. Lysosomal storage diseases—the horizon expands. Nature Reviews Neurology Oct;9(10):583-598. (2013).
  18. Staropoli JF, Haliw L, Biswas S, Garrett L, Hilter SM, Becker L, Skosyrski S, Da Silva-Buttkus P, Calzada-Wack J, Neff F, Rathkolb V, Rozman J, Schrewe A, Adler T, Puk O, Sun M, Favor J, Racz I, Bekeredjian R, Busch R, Graw J, Klingenspor M, Klopstock T, Wolf E, Wurst W, Zimmer A, Lopez E, Harati H, Hill E, Krause DS, Guide J, Dragileva E, Gale E, Wheeler VC, Boustany R-M, Brown E, Breton S, Ruether K, Gailus-Durner V, Fuchs H, Hrabě de Angelis M, Cotman Large-Scale Phenotyping of an Accurate Genetic Mouse Model of JNCL Identifies Novel Early Pathology Outside the Central Nervous System PLOS ONE , 2012, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0038310
  19. Boustany, Rose-Mary. Ceramide Center Stage in Progressive Myoclonus Epilepsies. Ann of Neurol. Vol 76 No. 2 pp 162-164, 2014.
  20. Khalifeh Simone, Yassin Walid, Kourtian Silva, Boustany Rose-Mary, “ Autism in Review” serial no.2014/56, ( July Issue 2016, in press, Lebanese Medical Journal).
  21. A functional genome-wide siRNA screen identifies KIAA0586 as mutated in Joubert syndrome. S Roosing, S Kim, M Hofree, E Scott, B Copeland, M Romani, J L. Silhavy , R O. Rosti, J Schroth, T Mazza, E Miccinilli, M S. Zaki, K J. Swoboda, J Milisa-Drautz, WB. Dobyns, M Mikati, F İncecik, M Azam, R Borgatti, R Romaniello, R-M Boustany, C L. Clericuzio, S D’Arrigo, I Moroni, EBertini, F Emma, M Steinlin, F Hildebrandt, C A. Johnson, M Freilinger, K K. Vaux, S B. Gabriel, P Aza-Blac, S Heynen-Genel, T Ideker, B D. Dynlacht, JE Lee, E Maria Valente, J Kim, Joseph G. Gleeson (eLife Sciences 2015 May 30;4:e06602. doi: 10.7554/eLife.06602).
  22. Monique Chaaya Dr.PH, Dahlia Saab MPH, Fadi Maalouf MD and Rose-Mary Boustany Prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorder in Nurseries in Lebanon: a cross sectional Study (2016), Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders) DOI 10.1007/s10803-015-2590-7.
  23. RYR2, PTDSS1 and AREG genes are implicated in a Lebanese population-based study of copy number variation in autism. Jihane Soueid, Silva Kourtian1, Nadine J. Makhoul, Joelle Makoukji, Sariah Haddad, Simona S. Ghanem1, Firas Kobeissy2& Rose-Mary Boustany Scientific Reports 6, Article number: 19088 (2016) doi:10.1038/srep19088
  24. Silva Kourtian, Jihane Soueid, Nadine Makhoul, Sariah Haddad, Maria Chahrour, Rose-Mary N. Boustany. Autism Susceptibility Genes in the Lebanese Population and exclusion of a common CNTNAP2 polymorphism as causative for Autism (2016 submitted).
  25. Zucker A and Boustany R-M N. Grey Matter Diseases. Pediatric Neurology Principles and Practice, 4th edition, Mosby/Elsevier,© 2006. Eds: Swaiman, Ashwal, Ferreiro. Vol II Chapter 59:1315-1344.
  26. Mousallam T. and Boustany R-M N. Gangliosidosis and Related Lipid Disorders. Emery and Rimoin’s Principles and Practice of Medical Genetics 5th edition, Mosby/Elsevier, © 2006. Eds: David L. Rimoin , Michael Connor Reed E. Pyeritz , Bruce R. Korf, Chapter 109:2449-2485.
  27. Boustany R-MN. Sphingolipidoses and the Neuronal Ceroid lipofuscinoses. Garner and Klintworth’s Pathobiology of Ocular Disease, a Dynamic Approach . Informa Heathcare, 3rd edition, © 2008. Eds:Gordon K., Klintworth and Alec Garner, Chapter 41: 900-939.
  28. Schulz Angela and Boustany Rose-Mary N. Chapter 14:213-231. Genetically unassigned or unusual NCLs. The Neuronal Lipofuscinoses (Batten Disease) 2nd Eds: Mole, Williams, Goebel, DaSilva. Oxford University Press 2011.
  29. RE Williams, SE Mole, HH Goebel, A Simonati, A Kohlschütter, M Elleder, RM Boustany, Riet Niezen-de Boer, Jonathan W. Mink. Chapter 2: 20-22. NCL Nomenclature and Classification. The Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinoses (Batten Disease) 2nd Eds: Mole, Williams, Goebel, DaSilva. Oxford University Press 2011.
  30. Ruth E. Williams, Sara E. Mole, Hans H. Goebel, Alessandro Simonati, Alfried Kohlschuetter, Milan Elleder, Rose-Mary Boustany, Riet Niezen de Boer, Jonathan Mink, Gil Ribeiro, Otto P. van Diggelen. Chapter 3: 24-28. NCL Diagnosis and Algorithms.     The Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinoses (Batten Disease) 2nd Eds: Mole, Williams, Goebel, DaSilva. 2011 Oxford University Press.
  31. El-Bitar M & Boustany Grey Matter Diseases Chapter 41: 518-543. Swaiman’s Pediatric Neurology Principles & Practice, 5th edition, Elsevier/Saunders, 2012. Eds: Swaiman, Ashwal, Ferreiro, Schor. Vol II.
  32. Rose-Mary Boustany, Ibraheem Shareef, Sariah El-Haddad. Gangliosidosis and Related Lipid Disorders. Emery and Rimoin’s Principles and Practice of Medical Genetics 6th edition, Mosby/Elsevier, Eds: David L. Rimoin , Michael Connor Reed E. Pyeritz , Bruce R. Korf (in press) 2013.
  33. Hayat Harati, Jihane Soueid and Rose-Mary Boustany,  Biomarkers of Apoptosis and Inflammation in Neurodegenerative Disorders; Book chapter in Biomarkers of Brain Injury and Neurological Disorders, eds: Kevin K. W. Wang, Zhiqun Zhang, Firas H. Kobeissy. October 15, 2014 by CRC Press, Taylor and Francis,
  34. Hussein Gazalah, Sarah Mantash, Naify Ramadan, Sawsan Al Lafi, Sally El Sitt, Hala Darwish, Hassan Azari, Lama Fawaz, Noël Ghanem, Kazem Zibara, Rose-Mary Boustany, Firas Kobeissy, Jihane Soueid. Injury Models of the Central Nervous System. Book Series: Methods in Molecular Biology (Humana Press). Eds: Firas H. Kobeissy, Ronald L. Hayes, Stefania Mondello, Edward Dixon, Series editor: John Walker, Ph.D. Springer USA, Human Press, NJ. Methods in Molecular Biology. Chapter 38: Postnatal Neural Stem Cells in Treating Traumatic Brain Injury (2016 in Press).
Ongoing Clinical Trials
  • ABA, Early Intervention and Autism
  • MRI/DTI Changes in Autism
  • Visual Tracking in Autism Effects of the Live and Recorded Voices of Parents on Preterm Infants’ Physiological and Behavioral States
Residency Program
  • Pediatric Neurology (3 years program)
  • Mohamad Bitar, MD
  • Ibrahim Shareef, MD
  • Layal Safadieh, MD
  • Maya Dirani, MD
  • Simone Khalifeh, MD