OpenMinds Fund at AUBMC Embraces Children with Special Needs

Posted on 11/5/2014

rkainside.jpgOctober 21, 2014​ -- As part of its vision to provide children with special needs with proper education, empowerment, and best medical care in order to lead a fulfilling and happy life, the OpenMinds Fund and the AUBMC Special Kids Clinics collaborated to renovate two floors dedicated to children with special needs, ages 12 to 19 years, at the Lebanese Evangelical School in Loueizeh (LES). The renovated floors are currently hosting 18 students and are expected to host 18 others in the near future.

Dr. Rose-Mary Boustany, Director of the AUBMC Special Kids Clinic, and a committed group of dedicated volunteers led by Mrs. Ghida Rabbat brought their vision forward and played a significant role in bringing it to fruition. Very few schools in Lebanon and the region have embraced children with special needs during the past years, and LES has been a pioneer in that regards. The OpenMinds Fund members and AUBMC believe that more effort must be exerted in order to raise awareness and spread knowledge through education around important issues related to children with special needs.  “AUBMC is also committed to investing in research to make advancements in the treatment of conditions affecting children with special needs,” said Dr. Ghazzal.  In addition, the Special Kids Clinics at AUBMC, offers its children expert diagnostic, medical care and a multidisciplinary approach of physical, occupational, psychomotor, speech, feeding and Applied Behavior Analysis which cater to treatment of children with autism, birth injury and premature birth and neurogenetic disorders.

“Such an accomplishment will lead these kids to meet the expectations of OpenMinds Fund - AUBMC Special Kids Clinic​ and make it possible for them to integrate fully into their social environment by growing into knowledgeable citizens who are able to serve their community,” said Mrs. Ghida Rabbat, president of OpenMinds. Principal Steve White of LES best captured the spirit of the event by claiming, “We are all Special Needs People.”  He also stressed the beneficial impact of mainstreaming special needs’ kids on them and more importantly, on their neurotypical schoolmates.  He also urged the Lebanese government to increase its support for schools offering special services. The opening event took place on Tuesday, October 21, 2014 at 5pm and was attended by Mr. Fadi Yarak, representative of the   Minister of Higher Education, Dr. Ziyad Ghazzal, Associate Dean for Medical Affairs at AUBMC, Dr. Steve White, Principal of LES, OpenMinds Fund board members and involved members of the community.​ 

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