Seminar "Contemporary Approaches to Early Rehabilitation of Children with Developmental Disabilities"
Tetyana Vihovska, M.D.
Head of the Volyn OMNI-Center
Realizing its statute activities OMNI-Net for Children constantly promotes creation and supports activities of organizations of parents having birth defects children. Volyn Regional Public Organization of Parents of Children with Down Syndrome and Other Developmental Disorders is an example of one of the most successful parental organizations created and working in close contact with the OMNI-Net.
On February 23, 2007 in Lutsk there was held a seminar "Contemporary Approaches to Early Rehabilitation of Children with Developmental Disabilities" in the frame of the project "Down Syndrome Children - Help in Their Rehabilitation and Integration into Society". The seminar was organized and held by the partners including the Volyn Regional Public Organization of Parents of Children with Down Syndrome and Other Developmental Disorders, Municipal Reforming Center "Lutsk-1432" and the OMNI-Net for Children organization.
During the conference
57 participants took part at the seminar activities. Among them there were parents of special needs children, pediatricians, neonatologists, neurologists, psychiatrists, rehabilitologists, special teachers, speech therapists, heads of specialized pre-school children's facilities, teachers of Educational Rehabilitation Center "Nadiya", social workers, professors of psychology of the Lesya Ukrainka Volyn State University, students, representatives of mass media, non-government organizations, state institutions and agencies taking care for disabled children, and special guests - specialists of Rivne Center of Early Intervention Educational and Social Rehabilitation Center for Special Needs Children "Pahinets".
Understanding the necessity to join the efforts of various specialists and parents - a multidisciplinary team - is a very valuable acquisition.
The seminar program included the following questions:
- "Development is the Right of Each Child". Presentation of the booklet "Down Syndrome Children: Manual for Parents and Specialists" and the "Early Intervention" flyer. - Olena Melnyk, Head of the Board, Volyn Regional Public Organization of Parents of Children with Down Syndrome and Other Developmental Disorders.
- "Birth Defects Surveillance and Implementation of Early Intervention in Ukraine". - Tetyana Vihovska, Assistant Head of the Board, OMNI-Net for Children.
- "Information Resources of OMNI-Net for Children". - Serhiy Lapchenko, Information Coordinator, OMNI-Net for Children.
- "Contemporary Approaches to Social Rehabilitation of Children with Developmental Disabilities". - Halyna Rymarchuk, Director, Volyn Regional Center of Early Social Rehabilitation of Disabled Children.
- "Health Status Details of Down Syndrome Children". - Olena Kulya, Neonatologist, Lutsk City Clinical Delivery Hospital.
- "Psychological Care for Families Having Special Needs Children". - Myroslava Mushkevych, Chair, Medical Psychology Department, Lesya Ukrainka Volyn State University.
- "Psychological-Medical-Educational Commission and Educational Support of Children Requiring Physical or Mental Development Correction". - Tetyana Mazuryk, Head, Volyn Regional Psychological-Medical-Educational Commission.
- "Motivation Forming in Children with Special Needs by Means of Art". - Nataliya Vichalkovska, Assistant Professor, Department of Age-Specific and Pedagogical Psychology, Lesya Ukrainka Volyn State University.
- "Speech Therapy in Correction of Language Disabilities in Children". - Nataliya Suslova, Chief Speech Therapist, Volyn Regional Administration Health Care Department; Speech Therapist, Volyn Regional Specialized Children's Home.
- "Experience of Rivne Center of Early Intervention Educational and Social Rehabilitation Center for Special Needs Children "Pahinets". - Iryna Hranovska, Psychologist, Rivne Center of Early Intervention Educational and Social Rehabilitation Center for Special Needs Children "Pahinets".
Olena Melnyk (left), Tetyana Vihovska (center) and Iryna Hranovska (right) speaking at the seminar
The main accent of all the speakers was made on creating a positive attitude towards the possibilities of Down syndrome children development and their integration into society. The seminar participants met with great interest speeches of the guests from Rivne Center of Early Intervention Educational and Social Rehabilitation Center for Special Needs Children "Pahinets". During 3 years that have passed since opening this first in Ukraine facility Pahinets specialists have gained considerable experience of rehabilitation of children with developmental disabilities.
During discussions all the speakers emphasized the importance of the raised problems for the community. As well the seminar aroused considerable interest of mass media representatives who reflected this event in TV and radio broadcasts.
Thus, the Lutsk seminar once again attracted attention of public and authorities to the problems of disabled children. The situation when a parental organization is the initiator and the organizer of such actions is still unusual in our country as well as the number of parental organizations is limited so far. Experience of other world countries says that in the course of time such NGOs begin playing the leading role in forming state policy regarding vulnerable groups of population, whose interests they represent.
Date of report: February 28, 2007