Quality of life is very much a 20th Century concept yet it is often associated with the material world, as opposed to the spiritual development of the individual.
At Centre for Curative Pedagogics, we have found that children with special needs can offer the community an entirely different value system.
For the families of special needs children, spiritual development can be extremely important. We have found that some doctors simply refuse to try to help children who have very serious illnesses or disabilities and this is where our centre steps in. We provide the much-needed support and hope for these families.
Pedagogics rests on a few, basic principles: every child is unique and deserves love, respect and the hope of a decent future, to have the right to an education, to find his own voice and become a valuable part of the community.
Programmes for children: social adjustment
Human beings are social creatures. The ability to communicate is a basic need and a prerequisite for development. However, for children with special needs, communication can be a massive challenge that requires much effort on their part, as well as help from specialists, their families and of course, social tolerance and awareness from their community.
The socialisation of children with special needs should and could be a gradual transition from one developmental environment to another: from learning through mini-groups to group communication, from the familiarity of the rehabilitation centre to integrative Summer camps and day-care centres, to integrative schools and then on to College or professional workshops.
The ultimate goal and ethos of our centre is something that has already been achieved in many developed countries: to encourage the creation of a professionally- managed, wide-ranging infrastructure that will fully support children with special needs and their families, all across Russia. If such a system were to be in place, children with disabilities could successfully integrate into society and there would be no need for the current system of institutions where most of these children are placed.
Programmes for parents: team effort
The Centre for Curative Pedagogics also seeks to support the families of the children that we care for. The parents of a special needs child are often completely unprepared for what lies ahead and they lack knowledge of the peculiarities of their child’s behaviour, rehabilitation and social integration opportunities, and their basic human and legal rights.
The psychologists, speech therapists, doctors and lawyers who are employed at our centre offer assistance to families who need this help. Here, parents can access psychological help, legal advice, discuss home-schooling lesson plans with teachers and can receive information from a social councillor on the best way of interacting with the authorities, to ensure success.