The Association of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities in Nigeria, AIDDN has urged the Lagos State Office for Disability Affairs, LASODA, to make efforts to recruit Physiotherapists, Speech and Occupational therapists in inclusive schools across Lagos State.
AIDDN through the President, Mrs. Joko Omotola revealed that the various categories of therapists would help in improving the speech of children with intellectual and developmental disabilities and help them in attaining their communication potentials and improve their Speech.
Mrs. Omotola explained that, “all the Inclusive schools in the State should have Speech Therapists since the major impairment of our children with IDD is speech and communication.”
Mrs. Omotola who noted, “our Cluster, the Intellectual and Developmental Disability is the most neglected and vulnerable in the Disability community as you can hardly feel the impact of Speech Therapists on our children in the inclusive schools.
“Where they are available in such schools, the overcrowded classrooms overwhelm the Therapists and also threaten their performances. This type of environment makes learning more difficult for our children.”
She thereafter appealed that LASODA in conjunction with the Lagos State Ministry of Education Ministry and the Lagos State Universal Education Board, LASUBEB “should pay unscheduled visits to all the inclusive schools to see the pitiable and unfriendly learning environment that the children are exposed to, and able to proffer adequate solutions.”
She added that, “LASODA can also assist in developing alternative communication methods, such as providing Assistive technological devices that will enhance speech and communication.”
Speaking on how the association is helping the members, Mrs. Omotola revealed that, “AIDDN invited speech therapists to the association’s monthly meeting in July 2021, so that parents, when they get home, can support their children by working on the movement of their tongues and mouths to enhance their speech.”
She commended parents of children with IDD and how they have been making efforts to improve the conditions of our children to enable them live successful lives.”