ICDP started to develop in 2012 and the programme has been used on an ongoing basis since then at the early intervention centre in Kishinev.
The ICDP team of facilitators at the Centre of Early Intervention in Kishinev translated the ICDP materials and have successfully implemented ICDP with children, parents and caregivers at their institute. During 2013they also introduced ICDP to ten kindergartens.
Marina Kalak (pediatrician), Sylvia Briabin (psychologist), Ala Bendrerchi (speach therapist) and Mariana Jalba (child neurologist) together represent a strong ICDP team, determined to establish ICDP not only through their own work at the Centre, but also to spread it to many others.
Marina Kalak explains:
“At the Early Intervention Centre we work with children 0-3yrs and our work is mostly with parents – we are a family centre offering information and psychological support to the whole family (both parents and syblings). We found ICDP to be a useful and important programme which we have been applying in our every day routine – this is because in our work we interact both with children and work with the parents; through ICDP we can enrich our communication skills with the child and use it also to enhance caregiver-child and parent-child relationships. We ran groups with parents and used ICDP in individual work with one parent at a time, particularly with those parents who have shown to have more difficulties in relating to their child.
In our ICDP implemention we found it important to focus on exploring with the families the positive aspects of having a child with disability. One of the most positive aspects they decided was having to spend more time with the child.This type of work lifted the self esteem of our parents.
The ICDP progamme seems like a simple programme but in fact it is very deep. If you implement ICDP in the right way, you find that the parents start to observe changes in their own behaviour with their children; and we as professionals see changes in the way we relate to the parents. We saw that when the parents become confident in their own ability it really changes their interaction with their child. Parents need time to accept their own situation of having a child with a disability, and we plan to try grouping parents according to disabilities so that they can find themselves sharing a common ground with others in the same group – they may find it easier to open up and share similar experiences.
We found the positive video feedback to be very effective, but of course we only used it with those parents who were happy to be filmed – parents made self-evaluations and and this enriched their own interactions.
Parents with children who have disabilities tend to protect their children and tend to worry all the time about their physical needs; however,often they do not apply sufficiently the emotional dialogue because their children do not respond to such initiatives in a obvious way – so this lack of response from their children discourages the parents and they give up. We worked on this, particularly with the parentsof the autistic children and with parents of children with profound disabilities.”
Mariana Jalba: “Finding the positive in a disabled child is what we focused on and this was not always easy – as neurologists we are trained to look for deficiencies. Creating hope and looking at the positive can be hard particularly when we are dealing with difficult cases”
Sylvia Briabin: “Before working with parents in a group I found it helpful to work with individual video feedback and establish contact on one to one basis.”
Ala Bendrerchi: “I like the ICDP approach, especially focusing on the positive and the fact that the programme is so flexible and lends itself to being adapted. I appreciate the fact that we can adapt it to fit in with our own conditions and culture. I am interested to see how we can use ICDP with parents whose children have similar disabilities.”
In October 2013, the ICDP Moldova team has had an opportunity to share about their work with the ICDP programme at an ICDP workshop in Antratsit, Ukraine, led by Nicoletta Armstrong and assisted by Oksana Isaeva.
The future plan is to continue applying ICDP at the Early Intervention Centre and to establish the ICDP approach in five of the ten preschools where ICDP has already been introduced in a more general way.