Re­ha­bi­li­ta­tion ser­vi­ces for Child­ren

Around 50 visually impaired children are born in Finland every year. Out of these children, a few are blind and the rest partially sighted with varying level of impairment.

In addition, a few children get disabled during childhood. Three out of four visually disabled children have multiple disabilities. The Finnish Federation of Visually Impaired provide help and rehabilitation for all of these children and their families.

Children’s Rehabilitation Services are supporting the families of visually impaired children from all over Finland. The rehabilitation is paid by Kela, the Social Insurance Institution of Finland.

A disability is always part of life for the whole family. Therefor rehabilitation is usually needed for the child, parents and siblings. The rehabilitation activities for children organized by the Finnish Federation of the Visually Impaired, supplement the rehabilitation services for visually impaired children provided by the central hospitals.

Children’s Rehab organizes individual rehabilitation periods  for under school-aged children from infants to pre-school aged and schoolers. Two annual adaptation training courses are also still been held. The periods take place in Iiris Center, Helsinki.

During the rehabilitation periods the families are given information on their child’s vision, on how the child can better learn to use his/her vision, how to support the child’s comprehensive development, as well as on social security and other services available. The group discussions give the parents an opportunity to share their experiences, and during the free time the families can get to know each other.

A multi-professional team  examines the child’s vision and assess if the child would benefit from low vision aids. A child can learn to use even low sight to his/her benefit, when given suitable low vision aids and tuition in using them. In case of blindness the rehabilitation concentrates on training the skills such as additive learning, braille reading and other useful fields of life for a blind person. After the rehabilitation process the family receive a report which also includes suggestions for the advancement of the child’s overall development.

One tool to support children is LA-KU, the early intervention program.  It is based on The Oregon Project for Visually Impaired and Blind Preschool Children,  a method for the guidance and assessment of the development of the under school age child. The guidebook contains forms for the mapping of and assessment of the child’s skills, and related teaching tips. The book is intended as a tool for the day care and therapy personnel working with the child, and to parents as a support for parenting.

Contact information

Rehab Services for Children
PL 41
FI-00030 IIRIS
Finland
TEL +358 9 396041
nkl@nkl.fi

Street address:
Marjaniementie 74
00930 Helsinki (Itäkeskus)

Edited 26.2.2018