The 1st EASPD conference for 2023 took place in Tirana on June 8-9. The Conference focused on the formation of policies and practices in the field of supporting children with disabilities and their families, focusing on family-centered Early Intervention practices and the creation of national Early Intervention systems.
The conference was crowned with great success, with the participation of more than 300 delegates from the Balkans and all over Europe.
In the first large panel discussion on the topic: Early Intervention in practice, coordinator Irene Bertana from EASPD presented the basic principles of family-centered intervention.
Then followed a video with the experience of Mr. Yiannis Franceskakis, a parent of Amimoni’s Early Intervention Program where he described with great emotion the contribution of the program to the well-being and empowerment of his family and the decisive role played by the individualized, holistic, family-centered character of the program and instructors in the child’s natural environment to effectively manage the complex challenges they face.
The experience of Mr. Franceskakis moved the audience, while the testimony of a parent’s experience was evaluated as very important.
Later, a panel discussion with representatives of organizations that provide family-centered early intervention was held, where Ms. Papadaki Agapi, Head of Amimoni’s Early Intervention Program was also present. Ms. Papadaki referred to the challenges facing the provision of a home-based family-centered service to children with severe disabilities, without the presence of an appropriate institutional framework. More specific reference was made to the problem of the sustainability of the programs without stable state funding, the increased responsibilities and difficulties of the members of the interdisciplinary team in exercising their role, and the difficulty of families often to perceive the need to change the intervention model and the transition from medical to social model.
On the second day of the conference, a workshop titled: “Parental and ECI professional burnout: Definition and strategies for preventing it” based on the Burnout Free ECI Project was presented by partners of Amimoni and OmegaTech.