Scientific-Practical Conference "Approaches to Early Intervention in Children with Special Needs"
Tetyana Vihovska, M.D.
Head of the Volyn OMNI-Center
One of the Statute activities of the International Children's OMNI-Net Not-for-Profit Organization is promoting implementation of early intervention programs in Ukraine. Nowadays, due to such programs considerable amount of children with disabilities live much better life than it was possible some twenty years ago. Their parents and caregivers understand that such children need love, care and special developmental support. They think that their children can study at usual schools together with other children and achieve normal social development and well-being. Besides, such approach allows reducing the number of children in specialized in-patient facilities.
To accelerate implementation of early intervention programs in Ukraine the International Children's OMNI-Net Not-for-Profit Organization in partnership with Ukrainian state and non-governmental organizations initiated holding a number of international scientific and practical conferences, seminars and trainings with participation of highly experienced foreign specialists.
On June 13-16, 2006 the scientific-practical conference "Approaches to Early Intervention in Children with Special Needs" participated by US experts took place in Rivne. The OMNI-Net and Ukraine Special Needs Orphanages Fund (non-government organization from Virginia, USA) were the partners in the conference organization. The Fund President is Mrs. Karen Feathers. The conference covered the following problems:
- Development of communication and early intervention in children 0-5 years of age.
- Development of motor functions and early intervention regarding special needs children.
During the conference
The conference aroused big interest of both specialists and special needs children parents. Over 170 participants from Rivne, Volyn, and Khmelnytsky oblasts expressed their common desire to continue covering the theme during next meetings and developing international partnerships. It should be mentioned that the Ukraine Special Needs Orphanages Fund is a long-standing partner of the OMNI-Net and Rivne Center of Early Educational Rehabilitation and Social Adaptation "Pahinets".
Trainers B. Hodge (sitting left) and L. Kliebhan (right)
show some methods of physical therapy
During the conference a group of the Ukraine Special Needs Orphanages Fund representatives visited the Volyn Regional Specialized Children's Home in Lutsk. At the beginning of 2006 the Center of Early Rehabilitation of Children with Nervous System and Mentality Lesions was opened in this orphanage. The American guests presented some physical therapy tools and developmental toys to the newly created center. The Fund also gave some funds to publish the Ukrainian translation of the well-known Australian manual "Small Steps" - an early educational intervention program for children with developmental delays.
Date of report: July 27, 2006