Experience of Latvian Experts in the Issues of Educating Children with Special Needs

1 Mar, 2010

The key precondition for providing the integration of children with special needs into the society is to develop effective methodology and to create relevant family-like environment for them.  With the support of East-East Program of the Open Society Institute, a project ‘Organizational Strengthening of the Georgian Portage Association through the Final Working Session of the Program’ is presently underway.

The Latvian experts visited Georgia just in frames of this project and conducted trainer trainings for the teachers working in the regions. The integration process in this sphere is less developed in the regions.

Portage is a program that provides early intervention in the homes of children with special needs. The program uses those methods, which are developed and practiced by the Portage International Association and is successfully used in many countries. In Georgia the Portage system was introduced in 2006 by the experts from the Latvian Portage Association. In frames of this program, the Portage experts are working over social integration of children with special needs in the 0-7 age range. 

In Georgia 60 teachers have undergone the trainer training course in frames of the project. Latvian experts held seminars and trainings in Tbilisi (40 participants) and Signagi (20 participants). A special textbook was prepared for trainers.

The training course was full of theoretical and practical works, mostly emphasizing the importance of methodology and early intervention impact on the integration of children with special needs into the educational system. Trainings were held through using the pre-developed materials as well as the textbook for trainers translated from Latvian in frames of the project.

By 2010 the Portage Early Intervention Program will be implemented in Kakheti, Adjara, Imereti, Akhaltsikhe district and Guria.