By Samantha Chaulklin, a member of the SkillCorps® Uganda July 2018 team

I’m a perfectionist and a control freak. This really will not shock those of you who know me. I love being the one making plans and goals to achieve. I love figuring out the best way to accomplish those goals. This does not just apply to my clients, but it also applies to myself. I am lost if I’m without a new goal to grow and learn.

SkillCorps is unique for me, because there is a huge amount of compromise that goes into the goal making process. You compromise with your team to decide what might best fit the needs of the partner. You compromise with the partner to decide what will best fit the needs of the client. Yet somehow, despite this lack of control in the goals, the partner always finds a way to take what SkillCorps has advised them on, and make it into their own to achieve goals with clients.

Coming into my second SkillCorps trip, I did not have a goal. I still do not know exactly what I want to bring to my team or to the partner site. However, in the same way that I trust in the process of SkillCorps, and understand that being out of control is what is most sustainable for the children at our partner sites, I am fully trusting in this trip to build me up in ways that even I cannot imagine.

I don’t know exactly how this trip will shape my clinical skills or my leadership skills, but I do know that this experience is incredibly valuable. By being a member of SkillCorps, I have been blessed to be exposed to the global issues surrounding the autistic community. I do not know how soon long term changes for the autistic community will be accomplished in regard to community acceptance, nor do I know how this trip will change me as an individual. I do know that I have loved my time as a member of SkillCorps and look forward to the siren call of another trip. I look forward to the growth of autistic acceptance as I continue to grow as a clinician.