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Tuesday/Wednesday (Kelly)

Tuesday/Wednesday (Kelly)
Kelly - Wed Jul 21, 2010 @ 11:30AM
Comments: 1

Yesterday and today were extremely long and busy, but fantastic.  It's 11:30 pm and I'm finally getting to my email for the first time since Tuesday morning.  I'd just like to ride this high for the next few days.

"The one who blesses others is abundantly blessed; those who help others are helped." Proverbs 11:25 (MSG)

That has been a very powerful verse for me this week.  It expresses exactly how I feel.  I may have traveled to Ukraine to help people, but they help and bless me abundantly.  They fill my cup and fire up my heart.  They rejuvenate me and impassion me for the work I do throughout the year.  Traveling to Ukraine and working with these people is the highlight of my year.

Tuesday: I started the day with a presentation on identifying autism--recognizing the early warning signs in order to detect and diagnose as early as possible.  Dianne followed with the specific criteria required to diagnose a child with autism.  She even discussed a few of the rating scales we use in the US.  Jackie ended the day by expanding their knowledge of the special education process or system.  She introduced policies and procedures, and reviewed varied therapy models and how to select the appropriate therapy for your child.  As she was talking it became very clear that establishing policies and procedures is an area of need here.

With each break, the three of us were engulfed by parents and professionals asking questions and requesting advice and setting up appointments for individual consultations.  While Jackie was lecturing, Dianne and I met with a mother and her 22 month old son who didn't respond to his name and had delays in communication.  He'd had his hearing tested, but it was inconsistent.  We noticed some possible signs of autism; however, his hearing was a major concern.  Not only did he not respond to his name, when I rang a bell, he made no response to indicate that he heard it at all.  They've been resistant to travel to Kiev and have his hearing checked further, but that's what we recommended and encouraged her to do.

Wednesday: Today was the last day of the conference.  A little shorter this year.  We probably could've had another day since we ran out of time; however, I think it went really well.  Based on the needs we were hearing throughout the week and because we had a lot of parents in the audience, Dianne and I changed up our presentations today and did a little bit of back and forth presentating.  Children with autism typically have trouble attending to objects and shifting their attention from one object/person to another.  So Dianne talked in the morning about these topics.  This led straight into my talk on promoting communication by using the picture exchange communication system (PECS), which requires attention, joint attention, and pointing skills in order to be successful with the program.  Thank goodness for wifi in our hotel because I was able to download several videos from youtube last night to explicitly show the conference participants what PECS looks like.  Yesterday afternoon Dianne and I visited a local educational store and purchased several items: book and puppet, train, play dough, large ball, bubbles and light globe, etc., which we used throughout our presentation to model different strategies.  We also passed out these items to small groups and had them practice the strategies we'd just described and brainstorm other ideas.  At the end of the day we drew names and gave away the same items as prizes.  My PECS presentation took so long that Dianne had less time than would have been desired to complete her presentation on play development and how to promote play skills.  As a  professor, Dianne is very good at picking out the key points in her slides to discuss when time is running short.  That's a skill that I need to acquire.

The afternoon was spent consulting with families, mostly children that had recently been diagnosed with autism (like in the last 3 weeks).  In the evening we visited the facility where the autism organization has set up.  They've managed to acquire a few rooms for a few hours on Saturday and Sunday.  The therapy sessions are run by parents, but parents that just happen to be doctors, speech therapists, and teachers.  They work full time during the week so the program is only up and running on the weekends.  There are many more families interested in joining their group; however, space, resources, and teachers are limited and they've not been able to expand.  They've approached their department of education for help and haven't yet received a response.  I'm so impressed with their passion and drive.  They're doing wonderful things for their children.  I wish their country would support them.  Down syndrome has been a very prevalent disability here, and while autism is growing rampantly even in Ukraine, they seem to still be in a little denial when it comes to helping/educating children with special needs.  It doesn't help that they don't value or even appreciate children with disabilities in Ukraine (that was a requested conference topic for next year---how to advocate for the value of their child).  They presented a very professional argument (presentation); even giving us a small folder of documents and pictures.  Everything needs to be translated.  Once that's done, we'll have a better idea of how we may be able to help them.

Next couple days:  We have a few more consultations scheduled.  Tomorrow we meet with Tamara at Pahinets to discuss ideas for next year.  We'll also meet Lyubov at the OMNI center to debrief.  Jason and I will meet with her later to discuss their dream for the Child Diagnostic Center.  They've made some strides over the course of this past year.  I want to talk to her in more detail about how we can help them achieve their goals.

Over the course of the week, several of us have been approached with the idea of helping other locations, organizations, and orphanages.  We've been traveling to Rivne since 2002 (this is my 5th trip) so the thought of going somewhere else is a little daunting.  However, it has become increasingly clear that God is sending us a message.  It's happenned too many times for us to be able to ignore the thought.  As we begin to make plans for next year, please pray that we make the right decisions.

Comments: 1


1. Allen   |   Wed Mar 07, 2018 @ 05:22AM

They presented a very professional argument (presentation); even giving us a small folder of documents and pictures. Everything needs to be translated. https://www.exactinside.com/PSE-Endpoint-exactdumps.html

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