Dear TalkTools Organization,
Thank you so much for your continued support of those on Roatan, Honduras! Your donation of toothettes, gloves, chewy tubes and straws was greatly appreciated and received by two different entities working with children with disabilities there. This year’s trip, a colleague named Celia, (representing the nonprofit the Nikaproject which focuses on bringing AAC to different countries in need) and I, connected to work collectively to serve this population.
Our overall goal was to further assess the island’s need for services, in terms of speech/ language pathology services. Celia is a Honduran native, a certified SLP currently working in California and has a cousin who is a Pediatrician on Roatan who was very interested in learning more about our field and wanting to better serve his clients.
We were able to educate Dr. Rafael Soliz on many aspects of communication and feeding, and all that Speech/ Language Pathology entails. As Honduras does not have this program, he was very interested in learning more, as he often encounters patients having difficulty in these areas. We discussed several possible options for future training for staff members with him and the Director of the clinic (Clinica Esperanza). I especially see a need for training in basic communication strategies for early intervention which could be tied into their community outreach program.
Cattleya is the learning center/school we served as a Talktools team in 2017.. Up until February 2019, incorporating several tools into their daily routine was both observed (from my last visit April 2018) and reported by known staff members. Unfortunately, approximately 4 months ago, a change in the Director position and several teachers/staff members resulted in this being taken out of their curriculum. So, this visit basically entailed gaining trust with the new leaders and planting seeds for more Talktools use in the center. I am hopeful to continue educating them and have full support from their original/current board of directors. Straws and chewy’s were provided to them. I am awaiting photos of straw use.
Dr. Solis informed us of a long standing physical therapy center on island which recently started speech therapy. We were able to meet with the director and staff members there. They work as an outpatient clinic and Gloria (photographed learning/feeling basic sensory input techniques) was very appreciative of any suggestions. The bulk of the Taktools donation (pictured in big plastic bag on table), was given to this organization, which is called RBC Insular. We met with several of their clients, providing strategies to help assess and treat their sensory and speech/feeding needs. Additionally, articulation strategies were provided as Gloria was mostly doing non speech oral motor activities. This organization was Spanish speaking only, so it was wonderful to have Celia along to help translate.
Now that I am back home (Durango, CO), I continue to correspond with all of these entities and look forward to keeping you abreast of their follow through and any follow up plans to come next year. Thank you so much for your generosity in reaching those far away without the resources needed!