On September 19, a scientific-practical conference “Psychological, Pedagogical and Medical Technologies in Inclusive Education of Children with Special Educational Problems” was held in the assembly hall of the Lutsk Comprehensive School №20. The organizers of the conference were: Education Department of Lutsk City Council, Volyn Institute of Postgraduate Pedagogical Education, Faculty of Psychology of the Lesya Ukrainka Eastern-European National University and the “OMNI-Net for Children” International Charitable Fund.
At the conference there were presented unique materials related to the rehabilitation of children with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD). Tetiana Vihovska (Deputy Chief Physician of the Volyn Regional Specialized Children’s Home, Head of the Early Rehabilitation Center for Children with Damage of Central Nervous System and Mentality) spoke about clinical and diagnostic criteria for Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS). Iryna Hranovska (a practical psychologist at the Viktor Polishchuk Rivne Regional Clinical Diagnostic Center) described the peculiarities of the behavior of children with FAS (FASD) as a consequence of the alcohol influence on neurodevelopment. Participants of the conference reviewed “The Child for Life” video created by the The National Organisation for Foetal Alcohol Syndrome-UK (NOFAS-UK), translated and kindly provided by the Ukraine Works Ltd (Director Anne Linden).
The conference was attended by over 60 participants from various institutions of the city, dealing with the upbringing and education of children, in particular: school psychologists – 16, social workers – 7, teachers of junior schools introducing inclusive education – 5, teachers’ assistants – 4, speech therapists and educators of children’s homes and kindergartens. There were also 4 employees of the Regional Center for Social Services for Children, Family and Youth, representatives of the City Education Department, headed by Zinoviia Leshchenko, as well as teachers and students of the Faculty of Psychology of the Lesia Ukrainka Eastern-European National University.
In the afternoon, a training session was held during which the participants of the conference studied the use of the MILE interactive learning program to work with special educational needs children, as well as acquainted with the GoFAR developmental program. 35 students participated in the training. The training room was equipped with 14 computers, and therefore all participants had the opportunity to learn how to access the OMNI-Net resources. According to the feedback from the participants of the training, who were mostly teachers of junior schools, practical psychologists and social workers from Lutsk city working in the field of inclusive education, the acquired knowledge is of great practical value and there is an urgent need to disseminate this information among school teachers, educators of kindergartens, as well as parents educating children with developmental problems.
The conference participants sincerely thanked the organizers, especially the OMNI-Net and US specialists, for the materials provided for education, and expressed their wish to continue cooperation in helping children with developmental problems.