“Children with Special Needs, Research and Education Center (ÖÇEM)” established by Lefke European University continues to serve as a center for all children developing differently in the TRNC and under specialist accompaniment.
LAU-ÖÇEM Director and Prof. Dr. Ayşegül Ataman gave detailed information about ÖÇEM. ÖÇEM was established by the faculty members of the Department of Special Education Teachers of Dr. Fazıl küçük Education Faculty in 2015 to enable both students to practice and to provide services directly to the public as a state university for the first time in the TRNC. In addition, it was said that ÖÇEM was established for the purpose of diagnosing different growing children, family education, orientation and education for different developing children.
Ataman: In ÖÇEM, teaching plans, family education and orientations based on expert lecturer guidance are conducted
Ataman stated that all the different developing children could apply to the EEA. These children are listed as follows: Over gifted and over talented children, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, children who do not like to study, children who cannot regulate themselves and who cannot play 3Ts (TV, Telephone, Tablet), children who are unable to understand what you read, children who are uncomfortable with mathematics and who do not like to write, that is, with all the specific learning difficulties, children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), which are increasing in number and reaching almost 64/1, children with intellectual disabilities, and children with CP. Ataman stated that when the children were educated in ÖÇEM, the necessary medical interventions were applied in the Physiotherapy Department of the Faculty of Health Sciences.
Ataman informing about the functioning of ÖÇEM also stated that the appointment procedure functions first by an in-depth interview of the child’s family by herself, Assist. Prof. Dr. Gül Kahveci and Specialist Hatice Bilmez, observing and assessing all documents and diagnosis related to the child. Ataman stated that, with the educational evaluation principles and scales, the child is assessed and the way to be traced is determined. Based on the control and direction of the specialist lecturers; teaching plan, family education or directives are determined.
Ataman: ÖÇEM, Serves throughout TRNC
Ataman stated that herself is responsible for the evaluation, guidance and family education of gifted or talented children while Kahveci for the fields of specific learning disabilities and all learning disabilities, CP, multi-disabilities, mental disability and ASD areas and Bilmez for the fields of ASD and intellectual disability as with our guidance and individual teaching, five field practitioners who work at the graduate level and 3rd – 4th grade undergraduate students are working on a voluntary basis.
Ataman said that when parents feel that the development of the child is different from the usual developing children for example, when a child dislikes to be touched or who is hypersensitive to odors, has repetitive behaviors, and additionally plays outside a single toy for no purpose or children who are 4 months old and are not able to produce their phonetics, who are slow in all their developmental areas, and not able to read and speak until the age of 1,5 years and asking 5N + 1k questions, should apply to the ÖÇEM. Ataman stated that from the day when ÖÇEM started provide service, children of the families from Karpaz, Girne, Mağusa, Lefkoşa, Güzelyurt and Lefke have benefited from this service. Ataman also stated that serial conferences were organized, in-service trainings were given to teachers, and conferences and workshops were organized for the students, in order to be more useful to both the students and those interested in the field, in TRNC.
Ataman pointed out that the participants in the center and the department contributed to the scientific field both in the student congresses and in the national and international congresses in the last two years through poster presentation and verbal notifications and that the five original studies which are yet on thesis basis, will be completed in June and will contribute to the TRNC science world.