December 01, 2017 | Africa: Kenya

Achieving Milestones - Expanding Early Childhood Development for Children with Intellectual Disabilities in Kenya

By Susan Masila

The IDEA Project in Special Olympics Kenya - Intellectual Disability Empowerment Agenda is made possible by the vital support of Catholic Relief Services (CRS).

Community activities can encourage acceptance of children with intellectual disabilities, when stigma is broken down by positive parenting education and family support networks. 

The impact of this in Kenya is crucial, as some mothers are left by their husbands after the birth of a child with an intellectual disability, or ignored by their neighbors, explained Luciah Karimi, a community health volunteer.

This inclusive IDEA program includes physiotherapy and health screenings, and through other partners are referred for further medical treatment.

IDEA physiotherapist Dennis Ombese loves seeing children achieving milestones, such as two children who have started walking without support for the first time. Through therapy, now almost all of them have achieved neck control and the ability to sit.

“When I first brought Damacklin here, she could not walk at all,” explains her mother. “Now she can walk and play all on her own, and I can even begin looking for work while she goes to school."

This initiative is made possible by the vital support of Catholic Relief Services (CRS). 

About Susan Masila: I am the National Director of Special Olympics Kenya.

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