Greetings from Indonesia! We are wrapping up our trip here at YCHI in Jakarta and it has been nothing short of amazing. Although there is a huge language barrier we have managed to laugh a lot while share teaching techniques and ABA strategies with the staff here. Everyone including the children, parents and staff greeted us with open arms and were all anxious to learn and share new ideas.

For the first week here, I was unable to hear out of one ear after 24 hours of flying. Although this was uncomfortable, it really forced me to actively listen to the staff and children here and reminded me how lucky I am to have the ability to hear. Although we do not understand the native language of Indonesia we are all able to see the smiles on everyone’s faces during therapy sessions as well as share sessions. The staff has also been wonderful with trying to teach us Bahasa.

Our days are structured such that we are able to observe one on one therapy in the morning with the staff and parents and then meet with the entire staff in the afternoons. I love that we refer to this as “sharing time” as that it what is it. We are sharing our feedback and really want to create dialog among the staff. Our second week here the share sessions were extremely productive and the staff is all learning new terminology regarding data collection and functions of behavior.

This has been one of the most unique challenges of my ten year career. I am used to being challenged by a non compliant child or frustrated parents in my day to day job in America. The new challenge of a language barrier and lack of resources reminded me why I love to teach. Global Autism Project and YCHI renewed my passion and determination to teach those who need it most. YCHI has given me a new appreciation for patience, simplicity and love. It has continue to make me feel empathy for those who cannot speak or understand what people are trying to tell them. We will leave here knowing that the YCHI staff still continue to love and teach the children who attend their centers. I am so lucky to have traveled with Global Autism Project and look forward to more trips in the future.

Teresa Day is a current SkillCorps Member and just returned from a SkillCorps trip to Indonesia.

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