The rule of thumb is that children typically lose
ONE MONTH of developmental skills for every
three months they live in an institution.
The Early Intervention program is WWO’s innovative efforts to combat the devastating effects of institutional life on orphans. The program has four components:
The One-to One Program
At-risk and developmentally delayed children are matched with retired women in the community (“grannies” or “aunties”) who have a background in health care, childcare, or elementary education. For many children who have been institutionalized since or shortly after birth, this is their first opportunity to develop an intimate, trusting and loving relationship with a consistent adult figure. The adults work with one or two children for five days a week under the direction of a psychologist who shapes a strategy for each child.
Learn more about One-to-One Program, Bulgaria
Learn more about One-to-One Program, Vietnam
Physical / Occupational Therapy
Physical and occupational therapy address many developmental issues, including language delays, behavior, fine and gross motor delays, and/or cognitive issues, including vision and hearing delays.
WWO’s volunteer therapists identify children who are at-risk and create individual therapeutic programs for each child. They train orphanage caregivers in simple therapeutic principles and help them establish routines that support and reinforce the work of the one-to-one adults and psychologists.
Toys help children develop their social awareness, imagination, visual motor capabilities and thinking processes. Play is a very serious activity for children worldwide and often represents a primary and valuable means of learning. Since many toys are important learning instruments, children should have easy access to appropriate toys in order to explore and choose those which interest them. A Toy Library provides such access to children in orphanages.
Learn more about Toy Library, Bulgaria
WWO is committed to data-based results for its Early Intervention Program. To that end, we have permission from Pearson Publishing to translate the Bayley III, the most respected assessment tool for children from 1-42 months, so that we may establish baselines for children’s development. Local psychologists are trained by WWO’s volunteer consultants in the administration of the Bayley III, thus building in-country capacity as we document our work.