PROJECT VIETNAM BRIGHT FUTURES PROGRAM
Planning the PVNF Bright Futures Project development began in 2008 as a collaboration with Ho Chi Minh Children’s Hospital 2. Although the Hospital had an established well child clinic there was no standardized protocol for examination which includes developmental screening and surveillance.
In 2009 the BF team presented to key staff at Children’s Hospital 2 seminars on the American Academy of Pediatrics Bright Futures Guidelines for Health Supervision. Under PVNF sponsorship Children’s Hospital 2 opened the Bright Futures Well Child clinic in spring 2010. The Well Child clinic not only provides general pediatric care, its goal is to identify children with developmental delay with the involvement of the Psychology Department and the Rehabilitation Department for therapy. Since then, ongoing training and exchange in professional information from developmental behavioral Pediatricians, physical therapists, occupational therapists, and speech and language pathologists are provided through lectures, visiting therapy sessions, and clinics.
In addition to providing professional information and support to the Bright Futures project at Children’s Hospital 2, the Bright Futures Team members have worked with Children’s Hospital 1 and Tu Du Hospital in Hochiminh City, to update the staff regarding autism, children with motor delays, NICU follow up, and incorporating normal child development into the Children’s curriculum. One member of the team presented classes for staff and parents “Touch Time, baby massage” demonstrating facilitation of attachment, relaxation, feeding, and stress reduction. The Team participated in clinics for children with disabilities modeling interdisciplinary care and early intervention. Demonstrating therapeutic approaches to feeding problems, behavioral problems, delays in language, motor delays for children with autism, intellectual disability, and children with cerebral palsy who attended special schools or resided in orphanages was also a an important activity for the Bright Futures Team.
Participating in community forums for families, teachers, and providers on raising children with disabilities to reach their full potential has been very exciting. In 2010 the Bright Futures Team talked with a group of over 200 at the conference room of Reunification Palace sponsored by a Vietnamese organization “BCB” that promotes education of parents. Since then, the Team presents at the BCB annual conference to a growing audience up to 700 attendees. Parent support and education of families on raising children with special needs is a developing area in Vietnam.
Special education has received support as the government is training teachers to provide services at schools. The Bright Futures team worked with regular elementary education teachers on fun activities that would enhance physical and language development; and student teachers to discuss children with special needs and demonstrate observation, assessment, and intervention techniques. Seminars for special education student teachers at the university, are now integral team activities.
Bright Futures Team Members are needed for 2-4 weeks:
- To train the staff at Children’s Hospital including residents and medical students, by demonstrating well child care in the context of the Medical Home and Bright Futures Guidelines for health supervision.
- Developmental-Behavioral Pediatricians to provide information on ADHD, Autism, Coordination of Care
- Psychologists to give information on psychological testing and interventions for autism and behavior challenges
- Team members to Provide information regarding family support, developmental screening, nutrition, oral health, prevention.
- Pediatricians to participate in Well child clinic
- Team members to assist in improving identification and intervention for babies & toddlers with special needs.
- Psychologists, PT, OT, SLP to train professionals in early intervention, family centered care, family support
- Special education teachers or early interventionists to show and discuss options in education & intervention.
- Bilingual persons to provide translation.