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#CAPACITYBUILDING Session for parents of special needs children – Star Children Initiative

10 Nov 16
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#CAPACITYBUILDING Session for parents of special needs children – Star Children Initiative

On the 1st of November we organised a beautiful #CAPACITYBUILDING Session for parents of special needs children. The participants were very pleased with the sessions and shared their amazing experiences. We all had the opportunity to learn from each other and examine how well we have progressed over the years. The main trainer of the day – Cuthbert Jack, mentioned a thought provoking quote “Never allow your discouragement to become your reality”, and it resonated well with the participants.

See pictures of the sessions below. Feel free to share this post with your friends and family. For more enquiries kindly send us an email – starchildreninitiative@gmail.com

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“How I Managed The Tough Transition Process of My Son” – Grace Alexander

01 Oct 16
StarChild
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“How I Managed The Tough Transition Process of My Son” – Grace Alexander

On the 30th of August 2016, While I was in haste to board an underground train @ Finsbury Park in order to attend an official event, I met one of HIP members who said she wants me to narrate my experiences regarding my son’s transition to adulthood. She also accentuated that HIP were conducting the program in collaboration with Hackney Learning Trust and SENDIAGS. I was so elated about the opportunity hence I obliged her immediately and agreed because I felt that my son’s transition to adulthood was not well-coordinated.

On the day of the event, while speaking to an enthused audience, I shared my experiences and observations regarding my son’s transition process. I stressed that the process was not well coordinated. It was very patchy. The transition process started very late when he was 17 years old, though I later realised that it ought to have started earlier, at least at the age of 14. Prior to the transition process, there was no provision of adequate information. Moreover, I was plagued with lack of financial support due to cuts to services. Every aspect of the ‘disabled young man’s life was not explored especially on how he would be spending his days. Issues such as social activities and employment opportunities were not discussed. There was clearly no effective partnership with the authorities who were supposed to coordinate the process.

Consequently, the effects of these shortcomings had a deleterious impact on the life changes of my son. Nevertheless, I was able to manage the negative impact due to my proactive, resilient and dynamic nature. Lack of proper transition process for a young disabled person will put a limit on his potentials and life opportunities. My candid recommendation for parents of young persons living with disabilities/special needs is to be the best advocates for their children and they should connect with other parents who have experienced the process, should they feel alone.

After my speech, as I was leaving the podium for my seat, the audience gave a resounding round of applause which lifted my spirit.  Many people came to me to thank me for sharing my experience regarding my son’s transition process to adulthood, they also mentioned that they were quite inspired and empowered by my advice, encouraging them to be their children’s best advocates and connect with other parents who have gone through the same experience.

On social media there were also positive feed backs regarding my speech which they found to be informative and impactful

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Grace Alexander and Her Son

SEE VIDEO HERE

How DO WE PROMOTE THEIR SOCIAL PARTICIPATION WITHIN OUR SOCIETY

30 Jan 15
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HOW DO WE PROMOTE THEIR SOCIAL PARTICIPATION WITHIN OUR SOCIETY

It is a collective responsibility and it everyone’s business to support these extraordinary persons to strive and flourish in our society in order to improve economic circumstances and educational opportunities for them. No more Excuses, this is 21st Century

  • Our society must improve outcomes to persons with disabilities through raising wider awareness of challenges faced by children/adults with disabilities.
  • Effective national and state legislative policies in place to promote the human rights of persons with disability. The UN’s Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) states that people with disabilities have equal right to social protection that targets persons that vulnerable, poor and disadvantaged.
  • Accelerate progress on more accessible health, rehabilitation, education and support services
  • Promote more opportunities for work and employment for persons with disabilities.
  • Our government must emphasize the need to promote the empowerment of people with disabilities and their family members;

 

 

  • There are wide range of resources that can contribute to supporting the needs;

Public sectors, private sectors, NGOS, civil society and private household could forge dynamic partnership through collaborative approach and introduction of integrated services.

  • Putting political will on disability issues through the establishment of disability commission. Disability issues have been treated with levity which further reinforces the stigma these persons are facing within our society.
  • Funding is another major and critical barrier; funding mechanisms should be put in place to accelerate the progress on proving enabling environment that will improve their life chances.
  • Children with disabilities are part our future generation, it is important to also address the developmental needs of children with disabilities, collecting data on how to implement early childhood programs and policies that will protect children who are at risk of global development delay.
  • Our government must improve access to resources, improving infrastructures, facilities and provision of assistive devices that will enable them to be healthy, enjoy, achieve and make economic contribution is vital to our economic growth as a nation, thus alleviate poverty hunger.
  • Making important investments in the development of policies, program and key instruments for ensuring inclusive society
  • Data collection- developing an integrated social information system to identify children that disabled and children from social economic background. With this system, government will be able to know what type of intervention/support and what programs will be needed to implement the programs.

 

Conclusion: We should remember that children with disabilities are among the most vulnerable members of any society. As a nation let us capitalize on the abilities, skills, talents and capabilities of people with disabilities, proving enabling environment through the promotion of accessibility and harnessing resources that are sustainable will promote their livelihood. It is also important to integrate our economic policy with its social policy by strengthening the human capital of children/adolescents/youths with disabilities that will enable them to find employment or be employers of labour.  EVERY CHILD HAS ABILITY. DISABILITY is DIVERSITY and DIVERSITY is FUN.

FROM MY PERSPECTIVE AS A PROUD MOTHER OF A CHILD WITH DISABILITY: WAY FORWARD

01 Jan 15
StarChild
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Happy Prosperous New Year Everyone, thank you for reading my weekly blog which, I hope it will enlighten you as you read, bear in mind that we welcome your comment(s), your comments are very important to us thank you.

Disability could be genetic, neurological, or could be as a result of a traumatic accident, injury or illness, these can cause behavioural changes, emotional instability, impaired cognition, poor judgement, learning disabilities, speech impairment, poor motor co-ordination and restricted mobility or no mobility at all. Disability is an evolving concept.

Raising a child with disability can be an arduous task and a complex one, if care is not taken it can affect our physical and emotional well-being as a carer. As a proud mother of child with disability,  I found out that it is a humbling experience, though I found it very touch initially, however I find the experience very interesting as time goes on, here are some few tips to safeguard for well-being as  a carer of your child living with disability.

A) There might be no cure for your son’s disability, however therapy and medication could bring improvement or minimal improvement. As a parent your love is very important  in proving an enabling environment for the child and this can give the best possible outcome.

B) Bear in mind your life will be changed forever, however we can learn to be POSITIVE about your child’s disability. For me my spirituality as a Christian helps me to be positive and be SANE. It does help me to put my son’s condition into perspective.

C)You have to learn to guide your thoughts and feelings, so as not  translate them into aggression, guilt, anger, crying and other unpleasant emotions that could descend into DEPRESSION. You have to learn to enjoy every little progress your child makes. Your positive energy significantly impact on the child’s well-being which further creates an enabling environment for your child that will enable the child to STRIVE & FLOURISH. In other words we treat ourselves with kindness instead of been regretful, feeling guilty and unhappy.

D) We can not ‘get over’ the issue that our child has disability, unfortunately, it is a reality, however we can learn how to ‘get on with it’ and enjoy your child, though this might take some time. Be sure you can work things out by finding out what works for you. Remember LIFE GOES ON.

E) As a parent of a child with disability, we can feel isolated most times especially at the initial stage of your child’s diagnosis. You need to surround yourself with parents of children with disabilities, this can be empowering. Good family support and support network are very important, As time goes on, you learn to enjoy your child’s world and life.

F) As earlier mentioned above, being a Christian works for me, I believe God works in mysterious way we cannot understand. Medical professionals, such as doctors, nurses, therapists, surgeon may tell you that your child might not progress developmentally, I want to let you know that some children with disabilities do make it through little progress each day. A child with disability can lead an independent life as he/she transits into adulthood. Keep hoping for the BEST for your Child and that keeps you going.

Familiarization and Welfare Tour

20 Oct 14
StarChild
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We also engage on Familiarization and Welfare Tour of some children with disabilities on our database. Food items were distributed to these children and their primary-givers

Oyo State Schools

20 Oct 14
StarChild
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27th May 2014, we hosted students from 15 special schools in Oyo-state and many assistive equipment were given to some pupils such as wheelchairs, crutches, white cane, mosquito nets.

Local community Sensitization/Awareness Campaign

20 Oct 14
StarChild
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Between August 2014 and September 2014, we embarked on Local community Sensitization/Awareness Campaign in collaboration with 5 Local Governments in Oyo-State.

Needs Assessment

20 Oct 14
StarChild
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July 2014, we carried out ‘Needs Assessment of Specials Schools in Oyo-State

Needs Assessment

20 Oct 14
StarChild
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Feb 2014, we carried out ‘Needs Assessment’’ of Special Schools in Ogun-state