Disability inclusion is especially important in the summer

Integration, empowerment and providing support for parents of children with disabilities during the summer are the goals of an upcoming event launched by a local inclusion organisation.

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Founded by the SEDRA Foundation, a group that advocates for inclusion in Abu Dhabi, the Family and Community Empowerment Services (FACES) platform works to provide parents of children with special needs the tools to support their child towards independence.

In the upcoming session on 21st June, the group will be offering families support for the summer months with expert advice, activities and the opportunity to ask questions.

“There is a lack of opportunities for children and young adults with disabilities in Abu Dhabi, particularly over the summer,” explained Renate Baur-Richter, programme manager at SEDRA. “Parents can be apprehensive to enrol their children in mainstream programmes because they’re not sure if this will be the right fit – it might not be the right environment, and they also fear their child might be bullied or not included in a meaningful way.”

From tips to engage with your child to planning out activities, the upcoming session aims to provide practical support for parents of special needs children.

“It’s not about dropping them at a camp, it’s more about what we would like to do together to develop a holistic approach,” Renate noted.

“There are multiple opportunities to engage with your child this summer,” she suggested. “We suggest that you make a date with your child. It doesn’t have to cost a lot – just go out to a mall and take a walk, have a conversation. We also encourage parents to have a summer diary where they encourage their children to add to it each day. It could be a cinema ticket or something they picked up in the mall – this will inspire a lot more activities.”

The SEDRA Foundation FACES family meeting will take place on 21st June from 4.15pm–6.30pm at Abu Dhabi National Theatre. Attendance is free, but registration is required. To register, contact: 02 666 0522, sedra.org

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