As a parent with a child who has intellectual disabilities, it is often difficult to know the best options available in the Cayman Islands to make sure that your child gets as much help and guidance as possible with the resources available.
Sometimes evident before age three, children may experience several developmental disabilities such as autism, deafness, dyslexia, and dyspraxia, all which can significantly impact their verbal and non-verbal communication skills and academic performance. Although kids attend school for about six hours a day, most of their time after hours and on the weekends is spent with their parents. Parents can use this opportunity to spend time with their child, assisting them closely and helping them with homework or other difficult tasks. Your child’s first five years of life are an incredibly important time for learning and brain development - many psychologists say it is THE most important time - in those early years your child is developing socially, physically, mentally and emotionally. They are literally sponges, and so getting your child involved with an early intervention programme or two will not only help them to thrive academically, but also allow them to develop positive peer relationships and friendships.
For children requiring more intensive tuition, there are several schooling options along with home-grown support groups and private tutoring. These support groups can help you to support the needs of your child, whilst allowing you to maintain a positive mental and physical connection with them. Preventing further developmental delays is vital to improving quality of life for children with learning differences, as well as their families. Many schools in the Cayman Islands have been aided and directed by the Early Year's Department of the Ministry of Education to identify children who appear to be on the 'at risk' list for learning or developmental delays. By identifying children who may need extra support they can organise one or more of the Island's highly trained network of SENCO specialists including speech/language therapists, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and educational psychologists to help.