The Association was founded in 1993 as a Non-profit Organization with philanthropic status. It has been founded from parents of children with visual impairments and other disabilities in order to cover the need of children that were excluded from special schools and were staying at home, since there was no adequate infrastructure for education and rehabilitation of the children towards the aim of their future integration into the social and family environment. Amimoni is addressed to families with children with vision impairments (low vision or blindness) with additional handicaps such as mental disabilities, pervasive development disorder, genetic syndromes, mental disorder, mobility impa... read more The Association was founded in 1993 as a Non-profit Organization with philanthropic status. It has been founded from parents of children with visual impairments and other disabilities in order to cover the need of children that were excluded from special schools and were staying at home, since there was no adequate infrastructure for education and rehabilitation of the children towards the aim of their future integration into the social and family environment. Amimoni is addressed to families with children with vision impairments (low vision or blindness) with additional handicaps such as mental disabilities, pervasive development disorder, genetic syndromes, mental disorder, mobility impairments. Today it operates four programmes: "Irida" is the only Center in Greece offering services to people with visual impairments and additional handicaps. Today, the services are provided from 54 staff including educators, psychologists, medical staff, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists. The Center counts 38 students (children and adults) "Polihni" is the only Training Program supporting autonomous living in Greece, for people with visual impairments and additional handicaps "House of Assisted living Lilian Voudouri", consists of autonomous living of 7 adults with blindness and additional handicaps in a house in Pikermi area supported from 10 specialized staff. "Early Child Intervention" has been offering services from 2004, to more than 70 families, implementing an ECI program. The program treats visually impaired infants and young children from birth up to the age of six. AMIMONI currently employees 54 specially trained staff of relevant specializations, offering services to more than 300 persons (chidren, adults and their families) visually impaired with additional handicaps. The Early Chidl Intervention Programme (ECI) More specifically the ECI Programme has been providing early support services for infants, preschoolers and their families from 2004 in the county of Attiki. From 2015 Amimoni is trying to support families and professionals who work with visually impaired children in remote areas of Greece implementing a program of early support via telecommunication. Beneficiaries of the Program: Infants and preschoolers from birth up to 6 years old with visual impairment or blindness from the area of Attiki and up to 10 years old from other areas of Greece. Most of the children have low vision or blindness caused by visual disorders such as retinopathy of prematurity, congenital glaucoma, cataract or Cortical Visual Impairment (CVI),) whereas children may also have additional clinical conditions, such as cerebral palsy, perinatal brain damage, genetic syndromes or brain tumors that affect the visual system. Today the program treats more than 30 families with systematic, weekly-home visits by professionals especially trained to support visually impaired children with multiple disabilities The families of the children Professionals and other experts that work with visually impaired children (kindergarten teachers, other special therapists). A systematic early intervention service is being offered to Approximately 25-40 families per month In total, more than 100 children and families in Attiki and the rest of Greece have been supported Institutions all over Greece and many professionals have been trained or have been introduced to the methods of the program. Services: Observation and training of functional Vision and tactile perception, observation of development, promotion of caregiver-infant interaction. Family centered education plan, implementation of education plan via weekly home visits. Family counseling for promoting caregiver -child relationship. Early Intervention in other counties of Greece through home visits and telecommunication support sessions. Training sessions and presentation of the methodologies of early intervention program for other professionals and experts, performing evaluation processes and advising of the intervention plan suggested to be implemented for children under their responsibility. Our Methods: Stimulating and training or encouraging the use of residual functional vision via a contingent or passive visual stimulation, targeting the change of visual behavior and visual attention. Stimulating and training auditory and tactile perception to promote all developmental domains. Implementing principles of Basic Stimulation, Sensory Integration Therapy and Bobath NDT Therapy to prepare the child for the intervention or to facilitate the use of skills in natural environment. Promoting the functional vision and tactual function through ergonomic home interventions. Observation of functional vision, developing intervention plans for assisting therapists and professionals working with blind or visual impaired children. Our team: Psychologists (specialized in early intervention with MDVI children), and Bobath NDT/SIT occupational therapist, orientation and mobility expert, social worker, speech therapist and child psychiatrist. Our Vision & Challenges: To establish a methodology for program evaluation and effectiveness of current practice in promoting children's functional vision and visual behavior, tactual perception and function and other educational and developmental targets. To develop a measurable evaluation system for the outcomes related to the promotion of caregiver-child relationship. To accurately articulate and demonstrate the best practices. This could be done by exchanging information and experience with other partners. To allow access to the services of Early Intervention to an extended number of families and children in need. To highlight the importance of early intervention for visually impaired children to stakeholders and other related professionals and claim funding for the early intervention program as a meaningful intervention in order to facilitate and extend access to the program of the concerned population all over Greece.
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