Dar al-Arqam Center Caring for Idleb’s Children With Special Needs

Center offers services and care for 20 children from Idleb's countryside, many of which are learning to live with the impacts of the six-year war, Zaman al-Wasl writes

In a small garden inside the Dar al-Arqam center for the disabled in the countryside of Idleb, 5-year-old Tasnim is playing with her peers to forget the explosions and shelling that had previously caused her to lose her hearing. Throughout her time at Dar al-Arqam, she has received treatment that has helped her partially recover hearing and balance.

Tasnim is one of 20 child victims of war who are receiving physiotherapy and psychological therapy at Dar al-Arqam, which acts not only as a treatment center but also as a place to play games in order to help them forget the horrors of war.

According to Dr. Ahmed Maatouq, one of the center’s supervisors, the institution started with eight child patients and has since increased to 20 children.

“The project aims to help children with special needs, whether they are war victims, persons with congenital disabilities or disabilities as a result of accidents. The city of Harem lacks such a project, especially as Idleb province includes a large proportion of children with disabilities compared with the rest of the provinces,” he said.

According to Maatouq, many children suffer from hearing loss, severe panic and hallucinations because of the sound of explosions during the war. He added that many of these cases could have been treated with simple actions at the time, but the siege and people’s inability to travel to liberated areas exacerbated these cases and prevented them from receiving the necessary treatment.

He revealed that the center also cares for children with other serious illnesses such as the disease meningococcal and cases of autism, which require a great effort, good medical and educational staff to care for.

Dar Al-Arqam is composed of a three-room kindergarten for healthy children, and a second smaller section comprised of two rooms for children with special needs. The center also provides a bus that picks up and takes the children home.

Maatouq pointed out that the center provides educational services, physical rehabilitation and entertainment for the children, adding that the staff includes educators specialized in teaching children with special needs and a speech therapist.

This article was edited by The Syrian Observer. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.

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