Special Needs for Orihuela Costa Children
The CLR Spokesman and Orihuela Town Councillor, Pedro Mancebo, met recently with parents of children with special needs in Orihuela Costa.
The issue discussed was the fact that there are children within our municipality on the coast with special needs but there is no centre or facilities for them informed Pedro.
Pedro explained that there are approximately 37,000 residents registered on the local census (padron) living in Orihuela Costa, and a further floating population of thousands who are not registered but live here permanently, but no special needs centre is available to those who might need it.
Orihuela City has such facilities, Torrevieja also and even Pilar de la Horadada, with less registered residents than Orihuela Costa, has special needs facilities. It is not fair that a mother has to take her baby to Orihuela firstly to receive the therapy the child needs and then have to travel to either Torrevieja or Pilar de la Horadada so the child can visit nursery school. Everything should be under one room here in Orihuela Costa, but unfortunately we do not have the facilities for this yet after 25 years of PP government.
For this reason the CLR will propose the requirement of a special needs centre at Orihuela Costa at the next Plenary Meeting at Orihuela Town Hall in February 28th 2011. CLR expects to have the support of all the other political groups in the Town Hall and have this “mocion” backed up and put in force as soon as the new nursery is finished. Signatures from neighbours are being collected in Orihuela Costa to support this new proposal from the CLR.
Special needs cover a very wide spectrum explained Pedro. There are children with Down´s syndrome, children who suffer with autism, blind and deaf children and children with learning difficulties. The special needs centre is not just for one type of disability.
It is very important that special needs children get the treatment they need from a very early age. As with all children this has a knock on effect for later life and children who receive the special treatment and care they need in early years have less problems dealing with school and education further on in their young lives.
What also must be understood is that not huge amounts of money are necessary for such a centre. A room, or sufficient space is necessary to treat the children, trained staff for special needs are of course necessary but again not in large numbers. A physiotherapist who would work together with the children to improve their mobility and co-ordination and secondly a speech and stimulation therapist would be necessary. No expensive equipment or toys are necessary either said Pedro. Children with special needs only require the same type of educational toys which would be played with by children of the same age for example wooden building bricks, coloured rings which can be threaded onto a cord etc., for toddlers.
One mother explained to us that she has been driving her daughter to a centre in Orihuela twice a week for over a year to enable her daughter to have the treatment she needs to give her the best start in life. The therapists also work together with the parents and show them ways of encouraging and educating their little ones, in a playful way, so the therapy can be continued at home. The mother informed Pedro that the therapists in Orihuela, who she praised most highly, confirmed they see progress in her daughter´s development each time they see her. The mother said this is all due to the specialist treatment her daughter is receiving which also allows them to continue at home and her daughter is coming on in leaps and bounds. What about all the other children asked the mother sadly.
The CLR feel very strongly about the special needs centre explained Pedro. There have been very few investments made in the coast over the past few years and the ones that have been made have not been made for the residents.
It is time to start caring for the residents and caring for our community and this is something we, the CLR, feel very passionate about. You have to show the community that you care about them and you are interested in their needs
and requirements, something which has been lacking in previous years.
The special needs centre is desperately needed on the coast concluded Pedro. Investments have to be made in our future and this means giving the young ones the best possible start we can. For this reason as mentioned above the CLR will be proposing the necessity of the special needs centre at the next Plenary Meeting. Its our time for change.