REFLECTIONS FROM THE SPECIAL NEEDS TEAM
The focus this year was again on identification of needs, safe and effective eating/nutrition/swallowing, positioning and its effects on function, mobility and motor development, play and fine motor, communication and language and the impact on behavior, and provision of resources for both the educators and the families to advance development.True collaboration was experienced by all and was the key for this successful brigade. The interdisciplinary team summarized the team findings daily using a new form created by the group prior to the brigade. We met with our Atima teachers at the end of each busy day to provide updates to each child’s treatment plan and to discuss recommendations and to plan for the upcoming year.
New this year was the addition of a home environmental survey conducted at the outreach visits that documented housing features, activities done at home and within the community, and issues that each family wanted to discuss during our visit. On the community outreach visits, we were able to spend 2-3 hours with each family and the addition of Physical and Speech therapy permitted a more comprehensive approach and ability to address not only the needs of the child but also the entire family. Read what one of the new team members, speech therapist Zeina Mvemba, has to say about her personal experience: