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Working With Disabled Children: Life Changing

By Alexandra Longshaw 1 year ago
Categories Yucatan

With my time here in Mexico drawing to a close I wanted to reflect on the amazing experience I have had so far. For the last 2 weeks I have been working on the health care project which has no doubt been one of the most rewarding and enjoyable experiences so far. The special needs school has created so many wonderful activities and therapies for the children. These therapies cater for the varying degrees of disability of these children and young adults, which would otherwise not be available to them. Not only has the school provided opportunities for these children and young adults, but, as a volunteer, I have also been provided with a new opportunity which I otherwise would not have got at home.

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One of my favourite therapies so far has been aqua therapy. My only wish is to have taken part in more sessions in my time here. The aqua therapy session not only encouraged me to improve my Spanish skills – as the swimming instructor only spoke Spanish! But I was also able to spend an hour taking part in movement exercises to encourage these children to develop their motor skills, and for some, aid movement where there would otherwise be none. I have also been lucky enough to take part in the sensory therapy sessions as well as work with children with down`s syndrome to help improve their language and social skills.

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Despite being a small school with only 2 rooms it’s wonderful to see how much the staff and children seem to enjoy their time there. Their positive attitudes towards the rehabilitation and ongoing care of those with severe learning disabilities is often reflected onto us, the volunteers, lucky enough to be there to improve the quality of life for those young people.

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We just completed a grueling sponsored bike ride through the Sian Ka`an bioreserve to raise money to provide six more months of dog therapy for these children. I am looking forward to Friday so I will be able to see this wonderful therapy in action! Although it will mark the end of my month long experience here in Playa del Carmen, I hope it will be a great end to an eye-opening and thoroughly enjoyable month.

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