Experts rally to expose parents, teachers to suitable IEP for special children
“My 18-year old son suffers cerebral palsy, the experience over the years is tiring. He has been on medication, but it is becoming very difficult to meet up because of the cost. And this drug, when you miss out on a dosage, the impact could be quite telling on him. But with this programme, I have been enlightened especially in the area of nutrition. I have also learnt about therapy which we will start immediately.”
This was the testimony of Mrs. Adelokun Latifa, at a recently held workshop, organised by a non-governmental organisation, Inclusive Education and Individualised Education Plan Centre (IEIEPC) in collaboration with the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG).
The conference featured a mix of presentations and specialised therapeutic consultations facilitated by specialists in various fields of special education. They reviewed various cases and provided information and practical tips to parents and teachers on how to help special needs children live independently.
Over 600 special needs children, alongside their parents and care givers from Lagos, Ogun, Oyo, Osun, Ekiti and Kwara States, participated in the one-day event. Some of the speakers and special education professionals at the event were Dr. Kelechi Lazarus, Prof. Olufemi Fakolade, Esther Oyefeso and Samson Akinbile, all from the department of Special Education in the University of Ibadan (UI).
Others are Chief Statistician/Head of Planning, Lagos State Office for Disability Affairs (LASODA), Mrs. Olushola Olujonwo; a seasoned nutritionist and a mother of a child with special needs, Mrs. Ijeoma Ugwu, and a special education consultant from UI, Dr. Olusegun Oyundoyin.
The experts in their respective presentations, urged parents and guardians to work with their special needs children to turn them into independent adults who can maximise opportunities to make personal decisions, pursue activities of own choice and become as self-sufficient as possible.
They highlighted some areas of skill development that can foster independence to include self-care, psycho-social, cognitive, motor, communication and vocational skills.
Director, IEIEPC and convener of the workshop, Mr. Oyeyinka Oluwawumi, said the workshop was designed to train parents, teachers and social workers on the skills required to bring out the best in people living with disabilities.
“Every child with special needs has a strength that can be harnessed for maximal performance. We want to help in the best possible ways and that was why we organised the conference to enable us design an Individualised Education Plan (IEP) for the affected children.”
The Pastor in-charge of the RCCG, Liberation Area, Tony Egbe, said the church’s involvement was in furtherance of her commitment to ensuring the total wellbeing of man just as he expressed satisfaction with the level of participation by the focused groups.
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