By: Colette Ellis M.Ed., CCC-SLP, BCS-S, Tara Ellis M.S., CCC-SLP & Lisa Scott M.S., CCC-SLP
Continued….Read TalkTools® Goes Global: A Recipe For Success! PART 1 to learn how the women began their journey to the Maldives.
Day 5: Ferry boat to Male, the capital city of the Maldives with interesting, yet efficient transportation that delivered us from the ferry dock. We then taxied to present to eager educators, parents and therapists at Beautiful Eyes, the Down syndrome association of Male. Special thanks go to our student volunteer, Juman, who allowed me to do a live demonstration! We were treated to a late lunch afterwards!
I gave a 2 hour lecture and introduction to oral placement therapy; Tara was my model for demonstrations. Lisa Scott presented general information pertaining to speech pathology. Lisa then introduced PECS and did a mock demonstration for level one for those in attendance. Our wonderful USAO students (Jodi Butler, Massie Sullivan & Makenzie Thompson) then rounded out our afternoon with a demonstration of American Sign Language (ASL). Participants were given color handouts of practical words and phrases parents and educators could immediately access to help build a language system whether hearing impaired or not. After this, a sweet young man named Juman volunteered to allow me to demonstrate an evaluation for airflow and straw drinking.
-Meet Preema Dsouza a speech-language
pathologist from Growing Minds Autism
Learning Center, who attended our lecture
and demonstrations. We were happy to
share some supplies with her!
-Lisa Scott Demonstrating the benefits of AAC to develop a language system
Day 6 – 7: Villimale, a 20 minute ferry ride from the capital of Male. A hotel check in, then off to our destination on foot, suitcases in tow. We were greeted and hosted by Muhyiddin School, a wonderful school which services a multitude a students and abilities. We arrived early for another series of demonstrations and lectures, first to the educators, then to parents of students of whom we were to provide consultations.
Day 8 & 9: CyMa Care, counseling and mental health facility in the capital city of Male. CyMa Care created a flyer to notify potential clients regarding times and space for consultations. Parents signed up quickly, spots were filled up within two hours! Unfortunately, we couldn’t accommodate everyone (there was a 70 person waiting list). The second night we were treated to a superb rooftop dinner to celebrate some of our successes. We are forever grateful for the opportunity to meet such wonderful families and educators!
–Look at the beautiful faces we met at the Muhyiddin School, such a lovely reception! We were able to provide free consultations and donate some therapy tools compliments of Talk Tools®.
Night 9: Phew! Consultations are over! what a busy week! A speed boat ride back to Maafushi later that night ended day 9. We were ready to crash and put our toes in the sand…
Day 10-12: After our Male and Villimale week, we spent a couple of days back in Maafushi prior to breaking up our little group. We were thrilled to be introduced to snorkeling with manta rays and nurse sharks one day, then a ‘discovery dive’ and introduction to scuba diving.
Day 12: Tara flies home to the US, Lisa and I fly to Trivandrum, India to teach!
Day 13 & 14: TalkTools® Level I Class, 65 participants, Mr. Ambuj Kumar was our primary host, and Lisa and I received royal treatment. The courses were held at the Mascot Hotel in Trivandrum. Lunch, snacks, and afternoon tea was served every day! Can you say curry and spices I’ve never heard of…yum!
India completed our ‘recipe’ for success. Learning is a lifelong endeavor, and Tara, Lisa and I were pleased to be involved in meeting a need. We met some wonderful sponsors, educators, therapists and parents along the way. What a journey! Our USAO students had some experiences of a lifetime. We savored the food, the scenery, and gained more personally and professionally than one could possibly know.
As we mixed in the ingredients of experience, caring, love, insight, sound principles and a sprinkle of neuroplasticity, just like a young seedling, we would hope these skills keep growing and growing. Thank you TalkTools® for believing in 3 clinicians from Oklahoma and for all you do for the community of special needs and abilities.
Hmmmmmm… wonder what our next recipe will be?
It’s a Wrap!