11700 Gelugor, Penang
Branch 1 Lorong Sutera Prima 4, Taman Sutera Prima
13700 Seberang Jaya
First Step Intervention Centre, a project started by Asia Community Service, began its operations in April 1997 in Island Park, Penang. Towards the end of 1999, the Centre moved to a bigger premise in Minden Heights in order to cater for the increasing needs. In April 2009, the Centre shifted to a new premise in Jalan Pemancar, Gelugor and also started its program in Seberang Jaya in partnership with Bold Association for Children with Special Needs.
The Centre's main objective is to provide quality early childhood special education to infants, toddlers and pre-school children with special needs.
While the concentration is on centre-based programs, home programs are also offered.
IS EARLY INTERVENTION ?
Early intervention is a concept that promotes help at the earliest possible age for children with a disability so
that their learning potential can be fully developed.
is an essential service to provide support and help to parents at the
early stages as it will equip them to teach and manage their
child better and enable them to prepare for their child's future.
intervention also helps prevent secondary complications such as behavior
problems as well as promote family acceptance of and love for their child
with special needs.
To work in partnership with families using a family-centred approach in our service delivery.
To promote the growth, play and learning of children with diverse abilities in an inclusive environment.
What is family-centred practice?
A family-centred approach recognizes and respects the vital role of the family in the lives of children. Family-centred early intervention involves providing intervention services according to family needs and concerns to promote the child’s development and the family’s capacity to meet their child’s needs.
Hence, family involvement is a strong requirement of our services. Except for school preparation programs where children are attending sessions independently, caregivers are required to accompany their children for sessions.
What is inclusion?
Inclusion refers to the participation of people with diverse needs, including those with disabilities, in all aspects of life such as education, social recreation and employment. It implies more than mere physical proximity between people with and without disabilities, but full participation and equality as part of a group, leading to a sense of belonging within the community at large. In education, inclusion means children with special needs and their peers without special needs learning together as well as from each other in the same schools.
To provide programs and activities which facilitate children’s development to their full potential.
To provide families with the information they need to help them make informed choices concerning their children.
To respect and empower families as the experts concerning their children through mutual sharing of knowledge and skills and their participation in our programs.
To work collaboratively with families, preschools and other agencies to promote inclusion.
This is an important aspect of the program as young children spend most of their time at home with their families. If the family understands the needs of their child better, they will be more effective in facilitating their child's learning development. Therefore, the program is focused as much on the family as it is on the child. It is therefore, a requirement that the child is accompanied by at least one parent or a primary caregiver throughout his/her learning session at the Centre.
We cater specifically to children with learning difficulties and/or developmental delays between the ages of 0-6 years. Priority is given to children/families who are not receiving any support services from other non-governmental organisations (NGOs), hence our One Child One Centre Policy.
Playgroup is a centre-based program that caters specifically for babies and toddlers aged between 0-3 years. This program focuses on the areas of early communication, social interaction and play.
2. School Preparation Program
This centre-based program aims to prepare children aged between 4-6 years for transition into regular preschools and formal schooling. It focuses on the areas of social competence, communication, self-help skills and pre-academic skills.
3. Home Program
In cases where a home program is the best option for families, home visits are provided.
As a non-profit NGO, we are dependent on public donations and have to raise funds annually to finance our operation costs and activities. As such, families receiving our services are encouraged to contribute some donation to help sustain our services. All financial donations will be issued with receipts that can be claimed against annual tax returns.