Services of the Early Intervention Programme

  1. To provide Functional Vision Assessment and determine what enhancements may be helpful to maximize the child’s visual potential.
  2. To support the child’s overall development so as to maximize his/her autonomy.
  3. To determine appropriate learning outcomes for the child.
  4. To cooperate with other professionals working with the child.
  5. To provide the family with guidance so that the most suitable educational context is selected and to collaborate closely with the school to facilitate the child’s inclusion.
  6. To provide the family with support so that they understand and respond to the child’s needs, but also cope with personal difficulties connected with the child.
  7. To systematically provide parents with psychological support, if needed.

If you are not based in Athens, you can see the Early Intervention programme running in the provinces.

1. To provide Functional Vision Assessment and determine what enhancements may be helpful to maximize the child’s visual potential.

The Functional Vision Assessment is a systematic way of observing and assessing the child’s potential to use his or her vision so as to perform specific tasks (e.g. to play, to communicate, to move around, to respond to basic needs), under different conditions, both in familiar and unfamiliar settings. (Chen, D.1999)
It aims to:

  • determine the child’s visual skills and needs
  • find the most suitable conditions so as to facilitate learning
  • devise strategies to promote the use of visual information in such a way that the child’s development is assisted.

The Functional Vision Assessment  is not the same as the clinical assessment of vision, which is a different field and is done by ophthalmologists or specialized optometrists. However, the Functional Vision Assessment necessarily relies on the reports of the clinical assessment of the child’s vision in order to understand better the way the child uses his or her vision/ whether the child uses his or her vision efficiently.

In Functional Vision Assessment, systematic observation of the child is used as well as two functional vision assessment tools, which were developed in the Blind Institute in Wuertzburg in Germany and have been adapted:

  • “Functional Vision Assessment Tool: Basic visual skills of children up to one-year-old”
  • “Functional Vision Observation Tool: Basic and complex visual skills in visually-impaired children”
2. To support the child’s overall development so as to maximize his/her autonomy.

The aim of such an evaluation is:

  • to understand the child’s developmental need
    to determine educational objectives for the child

This evaluation does not replace either the assessment conducted by a specialized developmental pediatrician or the multidisciplinary assessment conducted in health education centres.

3. To determine appropriate learning outcomes for the child

The learning objectives are discussed, implemented, assessed and then defined again focusing on each family. They take full advantage of the child’s remaining visual perception and promote it along with the other aspects of the child’s development and his or her emotional wellbeing.

4. To cooperate with other professionals working with the child

The professionals are consultants, special therapists and nursery teachers.

The Programme aims to establish a multidisciplinary network of professionals within which the child’s family plays a key role.

Cooperation can be of two types; either phone consultations or meetings where information regarding the child is exchanged and problems are resolved.

5. To provide the family with guidance so that the most suitable educational context is selected and to collaborate closely with the school to facilitate the child’s inclusion

The guidance provided could be:

  • to offer information to parents about the available educational contexts
  • to refer the family to the Social Services of the Association for collaboration
  • to refer the family to public bodies, when additional evaluation of the child’s educational needs is required

For the child’s more successful inclusion in the school context and always with the parents’ consent, visits to schools are held, where the child’s skills and needs are discussed with educators and suggestions concerning the adjustment of the school material to meet the child’s needs are put forward.

6. To provide the family with support so that they understand and respond to the child’s needs, but also cope with personal difficulties connected with the child.

Support is provided by the teacher /counsellor and can be of the following types:

  • Discussion regarding the child’s skills and needs and suggestions for resolving problems connected to the child’s condition or behaviour.
  • Escorting the family to a specialist.
  • Discussion of child-related difficulties parents experience and reinforcement of their parental role.
  • Suggestions regarding adaptations in the house to meet the child’s needs so that he or she is given the opportunity to use his or her skills daily.
  • Age appropriate crafts and educational resources, which are suitable for the child’s developmental needs.

 

7. To systematically provide parents with psychological support, if need be

Parent support sessions are run by the child psychiatrist of “Amimoni” and are held in the premises of Amimoni, in Elliniko or can be home-based.