Sunday, July 10, 2011

We had our first training day at Autism Care Nepal!

Knowledge for People first went to Kathmandu to begin our work with Autism Care Nepal (ACN) in July 2009 and it was so wonderful to be reunited with the families again after two years! Of course, I started crying a few times, but I just couldn’t help it. Seeing their smiling faces brought about so much emotion…they are the reason we have been working so hard to prepare for this trip and to see them face-to-face brings it all to fruition. They deserve to have the knowledge that will help their children make progress. They deserve to have programs in their schools so that their children can learn even more. They deserve laws to protect their children. They deserve to have access to interventions for their children. They deserve to have their children accepted into their own community. These are all things we are continuing to help them move towards during our visits.

They have done so much work on the center and it looks so great. It is also obvious that they have implemented many of the strategies that we suggested for working with their children during our initial training sessions two years ago. I’m just so impressed by the progress they have made!

We had our first training day and it was a combination of presentations and hands-on training with some children. The participants were so happy to have us there and were very eager to learn. It can be a little tricky teaching about interventions to use with children who have autism when we speak different languages, but the translators were fantastic and the participants listened intently and asked great questions.

They provided us with local food for lunch including veggie and chicken momos and fried rice and it was yummy!

Our first day at ACN was another reminder to our team that autism truly has no boundaries when it comes to ethnic background, socio-economic status, geographical location, etc. Autism is autism wherever you go. We could literally pluck these kiddos right out of the center here in Nepal and put them in an autism program in the states and you wouldn’t know the difference between our children in the US and the Nepali children.

We have a lot ahead of us in the next 2 weeks and I’m so looking forward to it. The trainings will continue and Renee and I will be conducting some presentations about autism to community members to help increase awareness, understanding, and acceptance of autism. We are scheduled to conduct several presentations to a group of government officials, teachers, a local village, and at a child development center.

That's all for now. I will continue to update as much as possible. Thanks for reading!

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