ZAINAB AL NASSRI –
With the aim of giving parents an opportunity to interact with their children with disability and do different activities together to widen the parents’ understanding of their children’s condition, the Ministry of Social Development organised on Monday a three-day programme for family guidance targeting workers, teachers and families of the handicapped at al Wafa Social Center in Al Amerat.
The parents took some special time engaging in meaningful activities with their children like drawing on pottery and glass. The activities allow the children with disability to realise that they are also important part of the society and that they can become effective members of it.
The activities also included a lecture on epilepsy disease delivered by a speech pathologist in which he introduces parents to the best practices to deal with epileptic patients.
With such programs, the Ministry is keen to include families in education atmosphere with their children so they develop better skills to deal with them at home.
Al Wafa centres aim at providing care for disabled male and female children between the ages of 2 – 30. They receive children who suffer from different disabilities like simple and medium intellectual disability, hearing disability, kinetic disability and autism.
In the beginning, those centers started as voluntary teams. Then in 2012, Al-Wafa voluntary social centers were changed into government centers with the name of “Al-Wafa Rehabilitation Centres for Disabled Children”.
This decision comes in line with the increasing attention given by the government to provide care to all society members and to concentrate on the groups that need special care and attention including the disabled children.
Such efforts come in line with the Ministry’s plan that aims at improving the quality of services provided to this social group. By the end of 2012, the number of these centres was (23) centres including (1708) children. The number of staff in these centres was 415 employees.
The staff members provide social and psychological rehabilitation services and rehabilitation programs to improve the kinetic and functional abilities, articulation and speech abilities since an early age.
They also provide programs for developing academic, cognitive, knowledge, life and other different skills. Besides, they prepare the disabled to join educational, training and rehabilitation institutions according to their vulnerability, abilities and skills.
They work on providing vocational preparation and rehabilitation programs for those whose vulnerability and abilities allow whether inside the centre or in cooperation with the other governmental, civil or private community institutions.
Moreover, they equipped properly so they provide the best service to the handicapped. They give semi-medical services like functional treatment, physiotherapy, and speech disorders treatment.
There are also services of special education, psychological guidance, family guidance and vocational preparation programs.
The disabled are trained on the daily life skills and self-reliance and they are helped to develop their awareness and amend social behavior. children are prepared to join educational and training institutions afterwards. In addition to the other duties of the centers, they guide families and provide early intervention for disability cases. They spread communal awareness on the disability issues and offer rehabilitation services through house visits programs.