This is the first educational Early Intervention Program for children with vision impairments in Greece, which is provided in the natural environment of the child and the family, in their home.
The program is aimed at infants and preschool children with blindness, low vision, or a diagnosed problem of visual perception and contributes to the strengthening of the child’s stimuli as well as the emotional connection with the parents, in order to develop their abilities to the maximum extent possible.
The main purpose of the program is:
- To support the child holistically – synesthetically, developmentally, educationally and psychologically – in order to utilize his existing potential and conquer his own peak
- To support the family in order to achieve the essential involvement of the parents in the development of the child, the strengthening of their relationship with their child and the promotion of their social integration.
It has been operating since 2004 and provides services to over 40 children and families every year throughout Greece and since 2020, also abroad.
The program takes place in each child’s home once a week, on a set day and time, and lasts about an hour and a half. During this time, educational activities are carried out with the child in the form of games (45-60 minutes) with the presence and participation of the parents. This is followed by parent counseling (30 minutes) with the aim of discussing the child’s needs, providing information and help to understand the child’s potential and difficulties, and to manage and resolve problems in their relationship with the child.
On an annual basis, support per family includes the following services:
- Evaluation of the child’s functional vision, assessment of his developmental needs
- Weekly educational sessions with the child and family in their home
- Counseling with parents at least once a month
- Support and cooperation with the child’s other therapists (occupational therapists, speech therapists, physiotherapists, etc.)
- Social Worker Services and liaison with the Local Community.
- Cooperation and communication with the child’s doctors
- Guidance regarding school or other educational context, accompanying the child during his first contact with the school and communication with his teachers
- Child psychiatrist services
- Interconnection of families with each other, through the creation of “groups of parents” or other events.
The program aims to assess the educational and emotional needs of young children with visual impairments, the advisory support of parents and the children’s education staff, with the ultimate goal of the emotional well-being of the child and the family, facilitating their social integration and empowering of the local network.
It is aimed at infants and pre-school children but also at older children with visual impairments up to 10 years of age, as long as it is judged on a case by case basis that their families and the children’s education staff can benefit from the program.
Support per family includes the following services:
- Assessment of the educational needs of children with visual impairment and formulation of educational and ergonomic suggestions for the guidance of parents and the educational staff who support them.
- Provision of short or systematic support to parents or educational staff who wish it via video conference.
- Head for Program Management & Development
- Administrative support: Social Worker
- Coordinator & Family Counseling Manager – Psychologist
- Child psychiatrist
- Occupational therapist
- 2 Special Educators Mobility Trainer Social Worker
firstname.lastname@example.org, +30 2109944646, Vouliagmenis Avenue, Former American Base, Elliniko, 16777