Silver bells offers a unique tailored Early intervention and learning program (EILP) that caters for children with mental disability, developmental delays and learning difficulty.
We believe in a collaborative approach to address the needs of children and working with parents, caregivers, and the community to promote support for the individual child and awareness in the community. The program provides therapy and education to children with pervasive developmental disorders, such as Autism, Down’s syndrome, Epilepsy, brain damage, cerebral palsy, learning barriers and other problems that affect normal development.
We offer developmental and psychological assessments, therapy services; special needs support and a variety of programs for children who require early intervention in learning behavior management.
Our unique approach emphasizes individualized services for children and families that incorporate the importance of health and wellness, culture, family, language, community and how they contribute to a child’s overall development. We are experts in the field of child development and offer parents, caregivers and professionals within our community the resources and tools they require for successful intervention. Working together, we can help children become the very best they can be.
Speech and Language Therapy
Speech and language development is an essential area that parents always focus on during the child early years. This is because speech and language are important aspect of communication that aids learning. Therefore speech and language therapy is to identify, assess diagnose and treat children and adults who present with speech and language disorders, delays, learning difficulty and swallowing disorders
Areas covered by SLT includes:
- Social Skills
The benefits of SLT includes:
- Increase ability to follow and understand verbal instructions
- Develop vocabulary, identify and support in Auditory Processing difficulty
- Provide strategies for word finding difficulty Skills
- Develop sentences in regards to length and complexity
- Provide techniques to teachers, parents and children to reduce stammering / stuttering
- Enhance speech clarity & pronunciation
- Encourage social interaction
- Build trust in selective mutism issues
- Support reading & literacy
- Advise and proved strategies for voice disorder and difficulty
Example of a typical speech development of a child
1 YearUses single words2 - 6
2 YearsCombining two words together200 - 300
3 YearsSpeaks in three to four word phrases1000
4 YearsSpeaks in sentences1600
There are many misconceptions about having special needs or gaps in development. Parents are often surprised to find out that their child may need Occupational Therapy (OT) in order to achieve developmental goals such as learning language, reading and writing (Fine Motor Skills).
The word “Occupation” is associated with work, so why should a child need this type of therapy when they are supposed to learn through play. A child’s occupation is to learn through play. However, some children do not play or learn appropriately and need to be taught skills to contribute effectively in social circumstances.
Difficulty in this area of development can create problems with sitting, standing, walking, and general play. This can also affect fine motor skills, attention and listening, language processing, reading and writing. Children need to learn many skills to develop age appropriate tasks and become successful in adulthood.
The occupational therapist’s role is to assess and develop the following skills required for the child’s daily life to be successful.
Gross Motor Development
- Muscle Strength
- Muscle Tone
- Movement Quality
Fine Motor Development
- Hand Dexterity
- Hand Strength
- Cutting / Beading / Lacing
- Sensory Seeking
- Sensory Avoiding
- Sensory Sensitive
- Level of Alertness
- Picky Eating
- Naming Objects
- Development of Play Skills
- Level of Communication
Activities of Daily Living / Independence with
- Transitioning through routines
- Other self-help skills
Special needs Education (SNE)
The special education department targets our learners with special abilities and aims to provide adjusted basic quality education and life skills training to all children at the center. With our differentiated learning approach, our special needs instructors work with children with impairments or disabilities, beginning where the learners are not necessarily what the curriculum demands. The children are grouped according to their ability and the instructors build on what the children know, allowing multiple learning styles to be engaged. The concept of early intervention promotes growth and development of children, which can enhance our children’s development and education. We teach for success! Special needs education helps students with behavioral problems, learning disabilities, and physical disabilities get quality education. Many children with special needs have challenges communicating and learning in addition to behavioral, physical, and emotional disorders and the special needs teachers are experienced working with special needs children, they understand that each child is different and unique in their ways of learning . The Curriculum is tailored to meet each child’s individual needs, and an Individualized Education Program (IEP) is drafted for each student, outlining how the center will help them reach their educational goals. The department uses games, songs, toys and activities to help children understand concepts and ideas.
Our physiotherapy department helps children who have difficulty with functional movement, poor balance, and challenges moving through their environment successfully. Some children with Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and other mental delays have low muscle tone, some have poor balance and coordination, low endurance to task and others may have a combination of all of the above. After assessment, the physical therapist designs and implements an individual therapy program that will help to improve the individual needs of a child to increase overall function and participation.
Areas of intervention
- • Gross Motor Skills – using large muscles for sitting, standing, walking, running, etc. Balance/Coordination Skills – involves the brain, bones, and muscles in a coordinated effort for smooth movement; for example, as in climbing stairs, ladders and jumping, etc.
- • Strengthening – building muscle for support and endurance; for example, to walk for a distance without becoming tired.
- • Functional Mobility/Motor Planning – moving through space day to day for independence and accessing playground and equipment; for example, to climb onto the rocking chair and make it rock back and forth.
The Importance of Motor Skills
Gross motor skills enable children to explore and learn from their environment. Strengthen and develop core muscles in children allowing them to maintain proper position in holding their head up and see things from an upright position. Trunk muscles strengthen, enabling children to sit and soon after crawl and begin to explore their surroundings on their own. Toddlers learn to walk, climb, and eventually run. As children become adults, motor skills continue to be important for independence.
Music is used in autism/ mental delay therapy so that it can stimulate both hemispheres of the brain, rather than just one. This means that a therapist can use a song or an instrument to support cognitive activity so that we can build self-awareness and improve relationships with others.
Music encourages communicative behavior and can encourage interaction with others which is something that autistic children have great difficulty with. If we look closely at the way that a band works, it is obvious that the instruments must all interact with one another, but the player only needs to interact with the instrument at first. For children dealing with autism/ mental delay, interacting with others can be difficult, but through introducing an instrument to their therapy, they may bond first with the object and then open up to others interacting with their instruments as well.
Music therapy is beneficial to us all, not just our children, and the sessions usually involve crucial communication building exercise as well as relaxing playtime and motivation. The therapists gives chance to develop these new skills slowly by introducing one thing at a time whether it be singing, dancing, listening, or playing our own sounds on an instrument, but each class offers patience and a safe learning environment.
ABA Therapy (Applied Behavioral Analysis)
ABA or Applied Behavior Analysis is an extremely rigorous and systematic method that uses behavioral principles to modify behavior. In simple terms, the goal of ABA uses positive reinforcement technique to decrease undesirable behavior and increase desirable or targeted behaviors (skills). The power of ABA is in its evidence-based results. Ole Ivar Lovaas, dubbed as the grandfather of ABA, proved that with early intervention and intensive behavioral therapy, children, regardless of where they fall on the Autism Spectrum, can achieve 47% success (defined by Lovaas as being “indistinguishable from their peers”).
ABA intervention, although highly effective, is very a laborious and time consuming intervention to implement. Because of the unique way in which a person with Autism learns, often, intensive one-on-one therapy (35 hours or more per week) is required in order to achieve optimal results. Depending upon the child’s progress, number of hours of intervention required may be decreased and programming setting changed from one-on-one intervention to group settings.
Another significant factor in ABA intervention is the need for customized programming. To be able to efficiently and effectively treat a child with Autism, areas of skill deficits need to be identified, treatment plan developed, and a detailed curriculum created and constantly monitored (and modified as frequently as needed) to ensure that the child is always making progress.
Outreach and training
Silver bells trains parents and caregivers quarterly on positive parenting skills and the basic children with special needs.
Silver bells will provide outreach programs to various schools, Parents associations, centers and communities country wide, and to those who are unable to commute to the center on a regular basis.
Silver bells will train teachers on the indicators of special needs at an early age and the basic care of children with special needs
Integration to main stream
We integrate children to the mainstream after we have worked with them and assess that they are ready to join the main stream. We have integrated two children in the main stream school in six months.