Early Intervention Centres now online

EARLY Intervention Centres (EIC) for children with learning disabilities are now available online.

The initiative was started by UNICEF in partnership with the National Early Childhood Intervention Council to support parents and enable them to continue therapy practices for their special needs child in the comfort of their own home.

Working with the council’s coalition members of parents, therapists and practitioners from non-governmental organisations, the initiative builds capacity in using telecommunication technology and provides therapeutic services online to help educate children with disabilities.

After the first month of its implementation, 14 EIC were

on board with the programme and 115 practitioners completed the capacity building training, said Unicef Malaysia Child Protection and Disability specialist Zoe Gan.

“This resulted in 806 people including children, parents and primary caregivers receiving online psychological support and 878 children and adults having access to a safe and accessible channel to report sexual exploitation and abuse.”

Before rolling out the initiative, the organisation ran a week-long poll to understand how Covid-19 was impacting children with disabilities and their families.

“The survey, which had 215 respondents, found that four in 10 could not access the services they needed; a quarter felt lonely and isolated; while another quarter experienced loss of earnings and could not afford necessities,” she said. All EIC staff are trained on psychological first aid skills and knowledge on how to safely refer disclosures of gender-based violence to appropriate survivor services in their locality.