QI Story: Enhancing Support for Parents of Children with Neurodevelopmental Conditions at AIC Kijabe Hospital, Kenya

Author: Multidisciplinary Team at AIC Kijabe Hospital, Kijabe, Kenya

Presenter Millicent MuthoniClinical Psychologist

AIC Kijabe Hospital, Kenya

In the routine developmental clinic at AIC Kijabe Hospital in Kenya, a crucial need was identified to provide psychological support to parents of children with neurodevelopmental conditions, such as autism and ADHD. The Multidisciplinary Team (MDT) at AIC Kijabe initiated a bimonthly support group, utilizing both in-person meetings and a WhatsApp group synchronized with school holidays. Psychoeducation and social support were provided through these platforms, addressing the isolation, grief, and financial challenges faced by parents.

To enhance attendance, the team offered free occupational therapy and childcare during the meetings, making provisions for remote participation. Collaborating with the Kenya National Council for People Living with Disability, the team registered children for government support, leading to improved access to crucial services.

Since its inception in September 2022, the support program has enrolled 50 participants out of a potential 70, showcasing increased attendance with the introduction of childcare and online participation options. Parent peer mentorship facilitated the enrollment of children in school and debunked myths related to nutrition. Thirty previously unregistered children gained official registration with the Kenya National Council for People Living with Disability, ensuring access to government services.

The journey underscored the transformative power of compassion, collaboration, and Quality Improvement in the lives of parents caring for children with neurodevelopmental conditions. Challenges such as childcare and work commitments were addressed, ensuring active participation in the support group. Collaboration with government agencies yielded significant benefits for children in need.

The ongoing journey continues to positively impact the lives of parents and their exceptional children. The team recommends the continued expansion of similar support programs, emphasizing flexibility in meeting scheduling and collaboration with relevant government agencies to ensure all eligible children receive the necessary support.

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