Posted Date: 09/19/2022
Betsy Caridi Reflects On Trip to Equador
Middlebrook teacher Betsy Caridi had a very fulfilling summer experience in Equador training other teachers in the best practices for teaching students with autism. Betsy shared with us some details of her trip.
I went to Guayaquil, Ecuador as part of the Skill Corps team for the Global Autism Project. I worked in Centro Enigma, a center for young children with autism in a very poor section of Ecuador. I worked directly with some children, but mostly worked with the staff in a way that was sustainable after we left.
Positive highlights- there are so many!!! I think that the biggest ones were working with families to understand that autism is the same all over the world. I helped them with acceptance, understanding, and how to dream for their children. There is a terrible stigma about autism in Ecuador (and in many other countries globally), and I helped them with the facts. I was able to relate to the parents on a wonderful level, since I have been in their shoes.
The second positive highlight was helping the autism center to work on the governmental standards for children with autism. This was an amazing process, and the center staff that I worked with really embraced the concepts/standards we discussed and started to make immediate changes to the language.