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A young boy with Down syndrome runs his hands through sensory items during an at-home educational session. Two women wearing head coverings sit next to him

Jawad develops new skills with at-home learning support

Born with Down syndrome, Jawad has difficulty communicating and learning new skills. Humanity & Inclusion is helping him overcome these challenges with learning-based home visits.

Jawad, 5, lives in Amman, Jordan, with his mother. He was born with a developmental disability and experiences difficulties with social interactions, general communication and pre-academic skills such as identifying shapes and colors or following instructions.

To help him develop these skills, Humanity & Inclusion uses a technique known as “portage,” a home-based intervention that targets children with disabilities and developmental delays and teaches caregivers to better assist their children. Humanity & Inclusion also provided Jawad with a pair of glasses to improve his vision.

“Each week we come to Jawad’s home to perform activities that help him develop pre-academic skills,” explains Shaima Anabtawi, Humanity & Inclusion’s Inclusive Livelihood Technical Officer in Jordan. “After an assessment, we create an individual plan based on his needs and we set short-term goals accordingly. Within the first month, the goal is for him to recognize geometric shapes, and respond appropriately to basic requests such as ‘close the door’ or ‘bring the glass.’”


Jawad’s mother plays in integral role in the activities so that she can learn how to incorporate developmental activities into their daily routine and continue his progress between sessions. Humanity & Inclusion’s trained partners help her develop an Individual Family Service Action Plan with activities adapted to Jawad’s goals, the family’s daily life, and their available resources.

Jawad has participated in weekly portage visits for more than five months and has shown significant improvement. He can now identify basic shapes such as circles, squares, and triangles. He can recognize sizes and colors, and he performs many social interactive behaviors, including initiating interactions with others. He continues to show progress each week.

These actions are supported by the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration.