Programme Early intervention through the eyes of a parent:
“The Early Intervention Program is a project which teaches parents in the best possible way how to fully communicate and play with their children and how to stimulate their physical, psychological and mental development. I am delighted with the results for the period from December 2011 /when my daughter and I joined the program/ up to present – May 2012. There is a huge change in a positive direction.
Home visits by specialists who provide guidance and advice on ways of communicating and educating the child, are extremely helpful to us personally. In the beginning, when we sought help from the consultants at Karin Dom, my daughter /1 year and 3 months then/ could not stand upright, could not walk alone, was not able to say words, she was not used to communicate with people other than her parents, she was frightened of strangers. First results came after several meetings with experts from Karin Dom /therapist, psychologist, speech therapist/. We were following closely the advice on stimulation of the motor development, resulting in the child beginning to stand upright without assistance, at 1 year and 4 months she was already making separate steps, and at 1 year and 5 months she was walking quite freely. After she learned how to walk, a very important positive change in psychological term occurred – my daughter was much more relaxed and talkative. This great change was noticed also by the consultants during the next home visit. I am very pleased with the way they work with her. She enjoys being with them as well, going alone to them, looking for them, bringing them toys, smiling at them, allowing them to take her in their arms, which was previously unthinkable. They set her at ease so much and she is relaxed to interact with them without problems. For several months she has learn many new things – how to recognize and show animals in a booklet, to make their sounds, to execute commands / come here, give an object/, to put her toys in order after a game; she began to hold her attention for a long time on a certain activity; she started to become absorbed and play games which were boring to her before – stringing up rings, building towers, embedding forms, arranging children’s puzzles, sorting objects; she became more self-dependent – started to drink from a cup, tries to feed herself on her own, to climb stairs with assistance; started to say and use many words, she has even said his first sentence; helps with dressing and undressing, learns and shows body parts and many more skills.
Specialists who conduct the games each week with children in Karin Dom, played a large role in this progress. At the very first visit there, my daughter really liked the atmosphere and activities, and as soon as we take the rucksack with shoes and she realizes that we are going to play, she starts to rejoice. The method of structuring and conduct of activities is very cleverly established. The participants in the games are children of 1 to 2 years of age. In classes, children learn to salute, sing songs, participate in group games, listen to short stories. In addition, there are individual games and activities through which every child stimulates the development of fine motor skills or acquire new skills. Thus, in the form of play children have fun on one hand, and on the other acquire knowledge and skills, learn how to communicate among themselves and to respect order and discipline, such skills that are extremely useful in the future /for example when visiting a nursery and a kindergarten/.
As a result of the regular attendance of the games with children at Karin Dom and the strict implementation of the advice and recommendations of the experts in the home visits, my daughter fully made up for the retardation in terms of motor development which was the reason for us to join the program. After persistent pursuits, her skills in other areas of development-cognitive, speech, social, are now relevant to her age. As of today, I reckon that in no way she is inferior to their peers, which would hardly be so if we were not included in this program.
In this line of thought I believe that there is public demand for such services as provided by the Early Intervention Program, and it is of great importance for it to continue over time both as regards children who are already involved and children who are yet to benefit from it. I think that Varna municipality must do everything possible to ensure the future funding of the program so that many people who need it can take advantage of the services it provides. So I think the Early Intervention Program should continue after August 2012, in the same form in which it has been conducted by now – with home visits by specialists, with the play groups, with parental support groups, with support for breastfeeding /for parents of younger children/.
In conclusion, once again I would like to say that I am impressed by the work and approach of the consultants working on the Early Intervention Program. They teach parents how to be helpful to their children, how to communicate with them, how to learn new skills, how to stimulate their development. The work of specialists under this program gives great results, so it’s crucial for it to continue. I would like to express my sincere gratitude to all experts from the Karin Dom team, participating in the program for their dedication and successes.”
Elena Petkova /parent/