Academy for Developmental Habilitation was founded in 1997 at Children's Hospital Zagreb, University Medical School. Members of Academy are interdisciplinary experts, doctors and therapists of various specialities. Their number gradually increased from 169 at foundation to 404 recently.
The main activities of Academy comprise: education of medical and other experts in the field of developmental habilitation, information and education of parents, preschool and school teachers in the implementation of therapeutic methods in children with developmental disorders, publication on developmental habilitation for experts and parents.
The specific goals of Academy are aimed at promoting an interdisciplinary approach to developmental habilitation, implementation of diagnostic and therapeutic methods used in early childhood which are still lacking in Croatia. In the implementation of new methods Academy collaborates with Croatian and international institutions and experts.
Over the past 6 years Academy has organized many courses led by international experts. Some of them have already contributed to implementation of diagnostic and therapeutic methods in Croatia: Munich Developmental Diagnostic 1-3 year (Th. Hellbrugge, S. Rank), Early communication and interaction ( H. and M. Papoushek, Munich), Sensory Integration J. Ayres (Christiane Kull) all from German Academy for Developmental Habilitation Munich, Myofunctional therapy, Body oriented speech therapy - Kost (C. Hockenjos, Susanne Codoni, Basel, Switzerland).
In 2003, 24 doctors, physiatrists and physiotherapists from 10 Centers in Croatia attend practical course in Neurodevelopmental therapy - NDT (Bobath) under leadership of EBTA coordinators and tutors from Slovenia and Switzerland
(M. Velickovic-Perat, Tatjana Dolenc-Velickovic, Neda Rotar, Helen Müller).
Additionally, in 2003 Academy has organized The Introductary Vojta Princip course, led by Ronald Wittl, Vojta therapy instructor, Munich, Germany.
In 2004/2005 practical courses will be organized as well. Both courses will contribute to better treatment of children with servomotor disorders in all Croatia. Courses organized by Academy take place in several habilitation Centers in Croatia, which besides the education of experts also contribute to better communication and collaboration among them.
Academy also collaborates with parents' organizations. Over last several years parents attend some informative courses, or practical courses organized for them.
Each year new method in childhood have been presented during "Summer Academy" traditionally held during 1st week of September in Habilitation Centre "KALOS" in Vela Luka (Island Korcula) on the Adriatic coast. The invited speakers and experts in habilitation also present advances in treatment of specific neurodevelopmental disorders: cerebral palsy, myelomeningocele, Duchenne dystrophy, pediatric low vision etc. (S. Christerson , Habilitation Centre, Orebro Sweden, G. Gschwend, Luzern, Switzerland, Lea Hyvärinen, Helsinki, Finland). The experts have also evaluated therapeutic methods used in children presented.
In 2003 at Summer Academy Gross Motor Function Measurement (GMFM) and Alternative communication courses were held (course leaders: Eva Resare, AnnSofi Ryder-Jensen, physioterapists, Malin Puls, Marianne Wolf, occupational therapists, Orebro,Sweden) along with invited lectures: Standard rules in developmental habilitation ( B. Lagerkvist, Sweden) and Treatment of children with acquired cerebral injury (S. Christerson, Örebro Hablitation Centre, Sweden).
In 2004 collaboration with European Academy for Child Dysability (EACD) started. The course led by Mijna Hadders-Algra from University of Groningen From Clumseness to Cerebral Palsy was held at Croatian Institute for Brain Research in Zagreb.
In September 2004 at Summer Academy courses Autistic spectrum disorders, Tuberous sclerosis complex, Communication with autistic children where held by Paolo Curatolo (Rome), Sten Christerson, Eva Lindner, Britt-Marie Lind, Lilian Scherp (Orebro, Sweden)