About 5 years ago, I started working with children with Autism as an intern at a developmental pediatrician’s office. At that time, I was 20 years old, unsure of my future career and what was my purpose in life. I had just recently changed my major to psychology in college, after being certain for years that I would become a pharmacist. I was pretty much lost, but I knew that I loved working with kids and I wanted a career that would challenge me every day. Little did I know in 2013, how much these kids would affect my life in the future.
Fast forward to 5 years later, I am now working as a behavior therapist in the field of ABA (applied behavior analysis) with children with autism. Working in this field with these kids has changed my life in so many ways. It has given my life purpose, guided my career choices, and has taught me the true meaning of love and enjoying the little things in life. These kids give so much happiness to their family members and friends around them. They have taught me how to be grateful for what you have, and to celebrate every small victory in life, even if it’s something small like learning to tie your shoes. The way they show love to their family, sometimes without saying words, shows me the compassion they have for the people around them. The adversities children with autism have to face everyday, proves to everyone around them how strong and resilient they are to overcoming their challenges.
Working in this field, I have always wondered how therapy and the education system taught children with autism in different countries. In January of this year, I saw an ad on Facebook about an organization called the “Global Autism Project”. My curiosity got the best of me and I clicked the link. I found out that this amazing non profit organization partners with centers around the world to help train teachers using evidence based strategies on how to teach children with autism. On my 25th birthday this year, I vowed to myself that I would go out of my comfort zone, push myself to the best I can be, and try to make a bigger impact in this world by helping others. I am so excited to announce that I have been selected to become a Skill Corps volunteer and I am joining the team that will travel to Indonesia in July!
I will be joining the Global Autism Project to help kids, parents, and teachers at the Rumah Tiara Center for individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities in Jakarta Indonesia. At the Global Autism Project, we believe that every child with autism can reach their potential, no matter where they live. We promote the acceptance and integration of individuals with autism worldwide by training communities in culturally relevant, sustainable practices.
Since the Global Autism Project is a nonprofit organization, please consider donating to my Crowdrise page to help me raise $5,000 to help empower teachers and create a world where people with autism can reach their highest potential, no matter where they live!
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