Wed, Nov 21, 2012 - Page 12 News List

It’s never too early (to know the worst)

Intellectual disability in children is not something most parents want to think about, but ignoring the signs can be much worse in the long run

By Ian Bartholomew  /  Staff reporter

Empowering parents

McCullough described Floortime as a system that “focuses on the relationship between a child and their caretaker, and it really empowers the parent to really get to know the child and focus on their strengths.”

McCullough, who is one of the main organizers for the workshop, said that they had sought sponsorship from numerous professional organizations, but had been rejected.

“I don’t want to badmouth the professional organizations, but generally they hadn’t the time or the money,” McCullough said.

Lei Yu, who helped found the Parents Association for Persons with Intellectual Disability (中華民國智障者家長總會), which supports the role of parents as both spokesperson and carer for those with disabilities, said that as a parent herself of a son, now a grown man, with an intellectual disability, said she felt strongly about the need to explore treatments that dealt with developmental delay at the very earliest stages.

“It was a great risk for us,” she said, but since the workshop has been announced, it has seen a huge response from mental health professionals and also from a number of parents.

McCullough said that in her experience working as an occupational therapist in Taipei, there was a huge demand for access to the latest thinking about treating children with intellectual disability.

“A lot of people really want more education, more workshops, more conferences to be held here. People lament that they have to spend so much money to get training, taking courses in the US, Hong Kong or Singapore … This also slows down the absorption of new ideas here,” she said.

For more information about participating in the workshop, visit the Foundation for Children with Developmental Delay Web site at www.fcdd.org.tw.

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