The mission of the Day Center for Children with Disabilities TOGETHER is to prevent the abandonment of children with disabilities and to provide the framework in which to develop and reach their maximum potential.
The Day Center Together aims to reach these children and their families by becoming actively involved, providing sustainable assistance, a network of hope, responding to four deep needs – currently unfulfilled – that will help prevent the abandonment and institutionalization of babies and children:
- Providing therapeutic services for the development of children with disabilities.
- Increasing the ability to adapt parents with children with disabilities.
- Increased awareness of the need and benefits of early intervention services among parents with children with disabilities.
- Increased awareness of the need for early intervention services among medical staff and social workers, which are related to families where there is a baby or child with disabilities.
This pilot project, intended to be multiplied, is an Early Intervention Day Center, aimed at children with special needs aged 0 – 6 years.
What we offer
Day Center for children with disabilities aims to be a support for children aged 0-6 years. We want to make sure that families with children with disabilities have access to the resources available to them, which will impact on every aspect of their child’s development.
Parents, grandparents, or family members will be actively involved in the program, in order to help them work better with their children in the home environment and in the community. Typical areas covered include the following:
- speech, language and communication;
- physical disabilities and associated disabilities;
- psycho-social problems, and developing self-help and advocacy skills.
The Early Intervention Day Center Philosophy
1. Young children deserve an opportunity to develop to their fullest capacity to which God made them during the critical early years of brain and body development.
We believe that children age newborn to 6 years develop at a faster rate than at any other time in their lives. It is imperative that children with different abilities receive the attention they need to reach their individual capabilities during these years.
2. People with different abilities can learn if taught with the correct individualized procedures.
We believe that our job as parents and professionals is to work together to find the most effective therapeutic procedures for teaching each child, and then apply those procedures to help them develop.
3. All children should be provided the education and opportunities to achieve their goals.
We believe that even young children should have opportunities to use newly learned skills immediately in their daily environments so the skills become useful and thus strengthened.
4. All children should be included at home, school, church and community.
We believe in inclusion for life, which assumes that society must provide opportunities for people with different abilities to participate in activities in the home, school, church and community. If babies and children are effectively taught they can learn the skills which allow them to become valuable members of their community therefore able to help themselves and their families.
5. All people should be treated, as we ourselves want to be treated, with kindness and respect.
We believe that no one wants be treated as if they are less valuable than anybody else and that treating everyone with kindness and respect increases our motivation to be better people. When applied in developmental and educational programs, this means teachers and parents should respect children, treat them with kindness and find motivating and practical ways to teach them new knowledge.
6. Families can be the most effective teachers of their children if they are taught the proper skills.
We believe that parent and family participation in the education of children with differing abilities is essential, and thus parents must be taught the same procedures that the children’s therapists use so the instruction can continue at home. This assures that the skills the children learn will generalize to all their environments.
Parent participation is especially important since parents spend more time with their children than anyone else and are their best models to imitate. Following through at home on what is learned in therapeutic environments increases the impact of the learning process and of the child’s success in life.
7. Professionals should work as partners with families in the education of their children, each one learning from the other.
We believe that teamwork between parents and professionals is a key factor in the success of children. Parents must be considered equal members of the team along with professionals since both have much to contribute regarding the child’s progress and the approaches that are most effective for each individual child. We have found that instructors become better when they learn from parents, and parents become better when they learn from professionals.
8. Focus on what children can do and not on what they cannot do.
We believe that therapists and educators should determine what children can do best and then instruct them with what they need to know using many of their already achieved skills. This way, they will enjoy the learning process much more and their motivation is increased. They will also receive more natural rewards for their appropriate behaviors and thus inappropriate behaviors will decrease.
9. Children’s environments should be filled with supportive people who believe in their success.
We believe that everyone in a child’s environments must be supportive and help them do their best since this has a direct impact on a child’s self esteem. We believe that if parents, family members, therapists, educators and friends truly believe that the child with different abilities can be successful, they will be successful.
10. Children and their families should have the opportunity to continue learning.
We believe that learning never stops and that everyone continues to learn new things and adjust their behaviors as they mature. We hope to prepare children in supportive families who move up to other life experiences beyond our program to continue to learn and develop at the rate most optimal for their individual capacity.