Over the last 14 years, I have been working with children with autism in some capacity, as a classroom teacher, an ABA therapist in the home, or as a teacher consultant. When I first started my career 14 years ago, I was unprepared to meet the needs of my students. I didn’t really know a lot about autism or anything about developing a meaningful educational program for a kid with autism. The responsibility of showing up to the job every day coupled with the feelings of uncertainty was overwhelming.
Luckily, I live in a city where I could easily access training and support from leading experts in my field. Without continued support and training, I don't think that I could have sustained a career in this field as long as I have and I am forever grateful to all of my supervisors, consultants, teachers, mentors, etc. who have helped me along the way.
I sometimes wonder if I would still be working in this field today had I not been able to EASILY access training. What would have happened if I lived in a different part of the country that wasn't so close to several universities that offered training in my field?
What if I lived in another country that has different educational laws and policies for kids with disabilities? How would my experiences as a teacher differ if I lived in a country that does NOT grant all students the right to a public education?
While I am proud of the progress that I have made as an educator, I can't overlook all of the advantages that I have had simply based on where I live in this world. Teachers, clinicians, and parents serving kids with autism in other parts of the world may not have the same advantages. Laws may not exist that grant EVERY child the right to go to school. Parents may not be able to find accurate information and resources to learn more about their child's disability. Children may live in a community that does not understand or even accepts an autism diagnosis.
Please Join Me
I will be traveling to Indonesia to work with the Global Autism Project (GAP) for 2 weeks this July. As a SkillCorps team member, I will work with other members of my team to provide training and support to local clinicians in the community.
As a SkillCorps team member, I am working to fundraise $5,000 to help support the work of the GAP beyond my 2-week experience. The GAP works with partners across the globe, providing training and support to clinicians working with people with autism all year-long.
Please help me contribute to this wonderful project by making a small donation today. Your donation will help fulfill the GAP's mission to provide support and training across the globe!
More About the Global Autism Project:
SkillCorps team members travel to Global Autism Project partner sites -- all over the world! SkillCorps teams are made up of skilled professionals and Autistic self-advocates working in the field of autism education. Our teams are trained and prepared to support educators, leaders, parents, and advocates working in their own communities. SkillCorps is an innovative travel and training program which encourages collaboration, cultural exchange and understanding, with a focus on sustainable impact. We believe that local people will lead the way in activating acceptance and opportunity for people with autism in their own communities, and our SkillCorps teams are there to support them every step of the way!