The Academy for developmental habilitation in Croatia

Croatia needs more resources in the field of child habilitation, which are now unevenly spread over the country, mostly concentrated in largest cities. The field is developing fast and methods need to be improved. More advanced methods can make the severely handicapped children function on a higher level. Also, families need more education and support in caring for disabled children. The Academy for Developmental Habilitation was founded in 1997 at Zagreb Children's Hospital, University Medical School. Members of the Academy are interdisciplinary experts, doctors and therapists of various specialities. Their number gradually has increased from 169 on foundation to 404 last year. The main activities of the Academy comprise: education of medical and other experts in the field of developmental habilitation, information and education of parents, preschool and school teachers in the implementation of therapeutic methods in children with developmental disorders, publication on developmental habilitation for experts and parents. The specific goals of the Academy are aimed at promoting an interdisciplinary approach to developmental habilitation, implementation of diagnostic and therapeutic methods used in early childhood which are still lacking in Croatia. In the implementation of new methods the Academy collaborates with international institutions and experts. Over the past 5 years the Academy has organized many courses led by international experts. Some of them have already contributed to the implementation of diagnostic and therapeutic methods in Croatia: Munich Developmental Diagnostic 1-3 year (T h. H e l l b r u g g e , S. R a n k ), Early communication and interaction (H. a n d M. P a p o u s h e k ), Sensory Integration J. Ayres (C h r i s t i a n e K u l l ) all from German Academy for Developmental Habilitation Munich, Myofunctional therapy, Body oriented speech therapy -Kost (C. H o c k e n j o s , S u s a n n e C o d o n i , Basel, Switzerland). This year 24 doctors, physiatrists and physiotherapists from 10 Centres in Croatia will attend a practical course in Neurodevelopmental therapy -NDT (Bobath) under the leadership of EBTA coordinators and tutors from Slovenia (M. V e l i č k o v i č – P e r a t , T a t j a n a D o l e n c – V e l i č k o v i č, N e d a R o t a r). This will contribute to the better treatment of children with neuromotor disorders throughout Croatia. Courses organized by Academy take place in several habilitation Centres in Croatia, which besides the education of experts also contribute to better communication and collaboration among them.
Category: Society news
Volume: Vol. 47, No 2, april - june 2003
Authors: V. Mejaški Bošnjak
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