An Amazing Program!

Post by Jody and Diane 

Diane and I had a vocational visit together today and we were introduced to some wonderful programs at the hospital in Skien.  

In the rehabilitation centre we were met by Elizabeth, who is a neuropsychologist and in charge of the unit.  She informed us that they work with children from 0 to 18 years old with neurological diseases, low cognitive abilities, brain injury and other such disabilities.   In 1990, Norway moved away from institutions and worked to allow children to stay in their own communities and homes.  The rehabilitation centre provides assessment and diagnoses through a multi disciplinary team.  Assessments are completed within 3 months of referral. 

We then met Anne Marthe who gave us a tour of SAMBA, which we are told means to work together around children.  SAMBA is a brand new program and the first of its kind in Norway.  It is formed with the collaboration between Porsgruun and Skien.

We were very impressed with this program and would love to have it in our own communities.  In Canada, I don’t believe there is anything like it.  There are 15 staff members including 2 teachers, physiotherapists and occupational therapists who provide service.  The unit is used for many different purposes.  Some families use it for respite where the parents can either stay in the facility knowing that their children will receive 24 hour care, or can go home and get a good night’s sleep.  It is also used to assess children’s needs and provide programming for them.  Children can go and stay at the facility where staff can learn about their needs and create a plan as to how to best meet those needs.  There is one child currently staying there who will have surgery within the next year.  They have her there now to meet her and learn all about her so that, when she has the surgery, she is already comfortable with the staff and they already know about her needs.  Another youth will soon be turning 18 so he is currently staying there so that the staff can learn about what will work best for him when he moves into his own apartment and they can provide recommendations to the people who will support him. 

Because the program is so new, they are still learning about all of the possibilities of services that can be offered.   I think the most important service of all was described by Anne Marthe when she talked about how they help parents celebrate the small things and focus on what is special about each day with their child. 

One of the things that I do not want to forget about Norway is how much they value art.  Everywhere we go, we have the privilege of looking at beautiful artwork.  SAMBA was no different!  The hallways and rooms are very nicely decorated to create a bright and cheerful atmosphere.  The pictures below are of some art work that the children can touch and manipulate.  I’m sure it goes a long way to lift the spirits of those who are in the facility.  

We both enjoyed our visit to the hospital immensely and were extremely impressed by this much needed service. 

Post by Jody and Diane


No comments yet»

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: