ECIL targets children with special needs between the ages of 0-3 years by offering them individualized therapy in which parents take part. ECIL’s purpose is to broaden the access of such children to a decent life, reduce the cost of their care to society, and do its utmost to rehabilitate them no matter how late the intervention.
ECIL strives to build and strengthen the capacities of children (motor, intellectual, communication, social, emotional, and life skills). ECIL also works on enhancing parents’ capacities by offering them guidance, support, and training. The adopted methodology is based on diagnosing the case by specialists followed by planning the intervention and mapping the types of support to be provided at ECIL and at home. Follow-up procedures and tools to measure progress are also defined, in addition to expenses and human resources involved in the rehabilitation process. It should be noted here that ECIL staff include psychiatrists, psychologists, educators, social workers, and various speech, psychomotor, physical, behavioral, and other therapists.
As for operation and sustainability, the funding plan reflects a fair partnership where government support is needed, individual donations are welcomed, and the contribution of the child’s family is required in accordance with the scope and nature of the service provided, while taking into account the economic circumstances of the child’s parents. Furthermore, there is growing national and community awareness of the importance of early intervention for children with special needs which translates into greater willingness on the part of many organizations and entities to support such projects. The same applies to the Lebanese public sector which is currently attempting to compensate for its past shortcomings in the area.
Likewise, the parents of beneficiaries can see the tangible progress of their children and appreciate the efforts expended by ECIL. Indeed, since its launch, ECIL’s experience has been very encouraging and parents have shown a concrete willingness to contribute to the cost of their children’s rehabilitation, each according to their own means. But their greatest contribution remains their gradual acceptance of their children’s conditions and demonstrating a positive attitude by participating in trainings, being involved in their children’s life, and working towards a dignified future for their children.
ECIL fulfills an urgent, nation-wide need. It features numerous characteristics, notably:
• Physiological support is provided to the parents of children with special needs as they, usually, have a hard time coping with the situation from the moment they discover the difficulties faced by their children;
• Comprehensive services are delivered simultaneously in one location thus increasing returns and facilitating procedures for a relatively low cost;
• The weekly home visit service allows the training of parents in dealing with their children, thus making them active partners in a process where they enjoy a sense of personal reward and responsibility;
• Availability of a team of specialists who undergo ongoing training to hone their skills;
• Research is undertaken in parallel to evaluate and adjust the service which contributes to the generation of knowledge;
• New graduates are trained in this field thus encouraging the creation of similar centers across Lebanon as a result of the availability of competent human resources. View video