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Home visits – key for early identification of child developmental disorders

Arijan will start school next year. Until then, he must learn to pronounce all letters properly and speak fluently. His school results and social integration will depend on that. At the Early Childhood Development Center in Tuzla, he has received appropriate help, diagnostics and speech testing services. Speech therapy, rehabilitation and speech correction were initiated immediately. 
After only three sessions, Arijan can say the L sound and repeats the set of test words easily – leaf, lemon, lion… However, it will take Arijan some more practice before he learns to use the L sound properly in a sentence. “This disorder in children can be effectively treated through appropriate activities and practice with speech therapists and special educators. It is particularly important to act before the school starts. Otherwise the problem grows” says doctor Jasmina Klebić, speech therapist.

Dozens of children similar to Arijan come to the Tuzla Center every year, due to various developmental disabilities. The Center has been operating as a part of the Health Center “Dr. Mustafa Šehović” since 2010. It was opened in cooperation with UNICEF BiH. It is open to all parents and children, focusing on the most vulnerable children, children with developmental delays, malnourished children and children with disabilities. At the Center, parents can receive all information they need about child upbringing and a wide array of integrated health, education, nutrition and social protection services for children aged between 0 and 6 years.  

The Center staff does not only sit and wait for patients to come knocking on their door. A mobile team of nurses do home visits every day. The visits have proven to be highly effective in terms of early identification and intervention in case of developmental disorders in children aged between 0 and 3 years of age. “A prematurely born, floppy or unresponsive baby, baby who does not lift his head when lying on the stomach, a malnourished baby, are all clear signals that we should intervene. We have detected almost half of the cases of developmental disorders through home visits” says Mersida Pirić, a registered nurse.  Home visits currently cover 180 families. They mainly involve educational treatment and work with parents. 

For children aged between 3 and 6 years of age, the Center provides preschool workshops and workshops for parents. In a stimulating environment, children develop their linguistic, cognitive, social and motor skills through play. In the previous cycle, a total of 80 children attended the Center, 76 of whom successfully enrolled in regular schools. The enrollment of the remaining four children was postponed for a year, pending the final decision. 

All activities at the Center are free of charge. Early childhood development is equally important for children, parents and overall society. Research has shown that the first three years of life are crucial for successful education, integration in society and personal development of the child. Investment in early childhood development is also an excellent investment in combating poverty – expected return on 1 KM of investment is 8 KM. 

With the help of the European Union and USAID in BiH, UNICEF launched the campaign “It’s About Ability” in July 2013, with the aim of changing public perception and supporting the rights of children with developmental disabilities to education, healthcare and social protection, allowing them access and complete inclusion in society. The activities of the Tuzla Center tell a real life story about ability. 

 

 

 

 

Kućne posjete, ključne za detekciju razvojnih poremećaja djeteta


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