A boy is leaning against a metal pole as he smiles at the camera.
Benjamin (6) at a physiotherapy session in Zambia

Next steps

Having come to the end of the course, we think it will be useful for you to reflect on all you have learned and consider your next steps.

We have encouraged discussion throughout each step of the course and asked that you consider actions within your setting. But this is easier said than done.

If you feel that this course has given you the tools to make immediate change, no matter how small, we would encourage you to formally acknowledge this in the comments below. Not only does this help other learners think about their own actions, but by writing it down, you provide yourself with accountability and this makes you more likely to follow through with these commitments.

This is why you have taken the course – to make positive changes in healthcare services in your setting. These can be as small or as ambitious as you like. But we encourage you to consider actions and changes that are achievable in your setting. Consider your context, your resources, your role in the healthcare system and your capacity to think what is doable and what is sustainable.

Girl running towards the camera and laughing © Holt International

To help guide you in this, we suggest thinking of the following:

  • If you are a healthcare professional, can you think of ways to apply your learning to improve your services for children with developmental disorders and their families?
  • How could you improve the process of diagnosis?
  • What changes to accessibility can you make in your service? Think about physical accessibility, the provision of information, communication with children and parents.
  • Which other healthcare services could you strengthen connections with?
  • Do you need to improve the involvement of children and parents in their healthcare decision making?
  • How could you start working with children and parents to help them realise their rights?
  • Which other services, outside of healthcare, could you begin to collaborate with?

  • If you are a parent, teacher, person with a disability or other interested party, what changes could you make to improve healthcare for children with developmental disabilities in your setting?
  • What support do you need from healthcare professionals? How will you communicate this?
  • How could you work in partnership with healthcare professionals?
  • How could you improve collaboration between different services and professionals?

Remember, each setting will require a different response. Draw inspiration from examples provided throughout this course and the discussions from your fellow learners, and be prepared to tailor improvements to your context.

Learner support groups

Why not set up support groups with other learners? Take the conversations outside of the classroom and continue to learn from each other. One of the major goals of this course is to develop a community of learning and a community of practice. To do this requires your initiative.

Take the lead and drive forward change in your community.

We wish you luck and we hope we can work together in the future!

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This article is from the free online course:

Integrated Healthcare for Children with Developmental Disabilities

London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine