By Jennifer Goubeaud, a member of the SkillCorps Czech Republic February 2018 team
Have you ever had an amazing meal, looked at your empty plate, and thought, “I want so much more of that”? Over the last two weeks we’ve learned about the lack of ABA services here in the Czech Republic, how insurance doesn’t cover it, misunderstanding/pushback against ABA, and how children with autism are basically “forgotten”. We did a parent training that highlighted how desperate these families are for help and answers. We worked with staff who are passionate and dedicated. After every day with them, I couldn’t help but wonder, “What else can I do? This can’t be it.” I also couldn’t help but think about services in back home in the United States, and think about how lucky we are, but also how far we still have to go. What about families in rural areas? Adolescents aging out of school? Young adults on the spectrum who want to pursue gainful employment? Children with Fragile X Syndrome or other neurobehavioral disorders who can’t easily access behavior services? This trip with SkillCorps was 100% incredible, and everything I needed at this point in my career/life, but it also left me a bit unsatisfied. Trust me, that’s not a bad thing. I’m unsatisfied because I’m now left wanting so much more from myself. There is so much work to be done that I don’t know if I’ll ever be satisfied – I don’t even know where to start. I honestly don’t even really know what to do with myself when I get home, because I know nothing is going to compare. But, I do know, that when you are unsatisfied, when you are still hungry, you will do what you have to do to find a way to satiate yourself. I have hope that I’ll find a way.