Tackling cases of severe disabilities

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Isphana Al Khatib, Director of Al Noor Centre says that it takes around Dh35,000 to train a child with special needs.

Tackling cases of severe disabilities
By Siham Al Najami, Staff Reporter GULF NEWS Published: January 10, 2008, 23:32

Dubai: Al Noor Training Centre for Children with Special Needs caters to children with severe cases of disability or with multiple disabilities especially to help parents with very low incomes.

The centre offers individualised academic programmes, vocational training, self awareness programme, behaviour modification programmes, physical education and computer training along with work placement and therapy.

Isphana Al Khatib, Director of Al Noor Centre said that it takes around Dh35,000 to train a child with special needs and faced many challenged cases as parents are not aware of early intervention procedures or where to take their children.

Since graduates from most special needs centre do not get an official graduation degree, Al Noor Centre in collaboration with the National Institute of Open Schooling based in India offered 7 of their students the opportunity to register for courses with which the graduate gets an official certificate on the courses completed such as English, word processing, economics, business studies, and home sciences.

“The area of special needs has developed in the country but still we have a long way to go especially on public awareness. We need structured systems to support people with special needs. From a medical point of view, we need more extensive diagnosis and certainly early intervention. Most people with special needs go without care or support in their first five years, which is the most crucial for their physical and mental growth,” she said.

The director of a special needs centre in Abu Dhabi, who wished to remain unnamed, said a number of her students are fit to join regular schools but face limitations and endless procedures from the Education Ministry and Education zone. “The ones that succeed in getting their children into mainstream schools battle passionately to get permission from senior officials and pay a lot of money to hire an assistant teacher with the special needs child to accompany and monitor the pupil,” he said.

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