Wednesday, June 11, 2014

NDNorth: Working Together

One of the biggest challenges that a large orphanage faces is how to integrate their resources to provide the best educational, therapy and medical care for the children.

A special education teacher may look at a child and say that they need to learn how to use a communication board.
The therapist is more concerned about the child's tight muscles.
Nurses and doctors focus on nutritional aspects of the child's health.

For a well-equipped orphanage there may be multiple therapists, teachers and nurses on staff. Each one of them has their own opinions, preferences and methods. And each child is different, too.

Sarah, the therapy manager at one of the orphanages we work with, has had a vision for a long time to help her staff work together with the same goals in mind for each child. When we first started helping her, this was the first and biggest need she mentioned.

A few weeks ago we were able to help her mold this dream into a reality.

Wendy, a US-trained Special Education teacher, took a team up to the orphanage to help the therapists and teachers assess and develop IEPs (Individualized Education Plan) for a few kids. It was a long and busy day, but Sarah was encouraged, the staff were educated and we left feeling like we had been successful.

assessing a child together

Introducing the concept of an IEP

Getting busy! The staff work in teams to create IEPs for the children they assessed.

Hopefully we'll be able to continue to help the staff improve at assessing and coming up with goals for the children's progress together often. It's a long day for everyone, but as Sarah often says, "It's for the children!"

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