by Rusty Hornig-Rohan, a Global Autism Project staff member and part of our RAISE program participating in the current SkillCorps trip to the DR

** students’ names have been changed

On Saturday February 13th, Kathryn P., Sarah G., Me, Michelle Z., and Sara C. went to Los Tres Ojos National Park and explored its beautiful breathtaking caves. I was happy that I got to put my feet into a lake of sulfur because I had never dipped my feet into a lake of sulfur before. Sara C., Michelle Z., Kathryn P., Sarah G., and I also went on a boat ride in one of the caves and explored its beautiful insides and saw wonderful stalactites and stalagmites.

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On Sunday February 14th, Sarah G., Kathryn P., Sara C., Michelle Z., and I went to Zona Colonial-The Colonial District of Santo Domingo and visited La Catedral Primera de América-The First Cathedral of America and saw its beautiful architecture. The Colonial District of Santo Domingo had lots of history and beautiful artifacts. Kathryn P., Sarah G., Michelle Z., Sara C., and I visited The Chocolate Museum and learned lots of interesting facts about chocolate. Did you know that The Dominican Republic became the world’s 10th largest exporter of chocolate in 2007?

On Monday February 15th, Sarah G., Kathryn P., Sara C., Michelle Z., and I went to Aprendo and observed some ABA Therapy Sessions. In one of the ABA Sessions one of the children got distracted by a toy and needed a reminder to put it away for a later time period. In the second ABA Session one of the children put together a jigsaw puzzle independently. In the third ABA Session one of the children pointed at the characters in a book independently.

On Wednesday February 17th, I visited Bambino Autism Center and Rafael was playing with blocks a lot during class. I noticed that Rafael was also playing with a pizza kitchen set. The classroom at Bambino was very noisy. I feel that most autism centers are lot quieter than most schools.

On Thursday February 18th, Jose one of the children at Aprendo pointed to some pictures of fruits and vegetables independently. David one of the children at Aprendo had a temper tantrum during one of his ABA Sessions. Pedro and I played together and hugged his elephant pillow. Pedro was eating yogurt and feeding himself independently.

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