Thursday, July 29, 2010

You make a living from what you get, You make a life from what you give!!

Isn't that a wonderful quote and philosophy to live by!! We should all try it!! That statement is on the bottom of a business card from Dr. Yuiy Bezdvernyy, M.D., Ph.D. from Kiev. I had the wonderful experience of meeting with him, and his beautiful daughter, on the grounds of the orphanage. I met him, via email after reading a report that he had written on one of the children who was being considered for adoption by a family. Apparently, Dr.Yuriy's did not quite understand WHY anyone would want to adopt a child who 'had limited potential' when a 'normal' child had so much to give! Well, he also wasn't prepared for the emails that went back and forth between us this year, and for me to fly over there and meet him to discuss his attitude which was really just representative of his culture! After sitting under a large shade tree and sharing with him the why's and the how's and the why not, I think he got it! He is now looking forward to working together to bring awareness and training to the other professionals in the Ukraine! And, I hope to be able to share the progress of this little guy with Dr. Yuriy once he is with his family and begins to receive intervention!!
 Dr Yuriy Bezdvernyy works with a medical group in Kiev who speak English (his business card was in Russian on one side and English on the other)! He's a great contact for not only medical emergencies but also for evaluations!! We take care of your health and peace of mind!! (from his card). He can be reached at his office at (044)551-41-93, cell phone 8-050-469-55-23 or via email at Just tell him 'Sandie' sent you!!!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Almazgo MInistry! See what we did with them!!

Go to this link to see the Missison work of Almaz Church!!!
I have a $20,000  GRANT for someone to adopt me!!!
Little Monroe is trapped in his body but if he could talk, he'd tell you how his Doctor cried when she told me that he would be transferred soon to an Internat where he'd be restrained in darkness and fed once a day!Please consider adopting Monroe or sharing his information with EVERYONE you know! With therapies, Monore should be able to make progress but unless adopted soon, he will spend a lifetime alone in darkness! Please contact me for more information on how you can save little Monroe!

Been back at work but want to be back at Vorzel!

I returned to work in my Early Intervention Class for the month of July with thoughts of all the children and new friends I left behind in Vorzel. While there I had the opportunity to meet with Olga, the head speech therapist in the orpahnage who requested my assistance and opinion on a little guy Timothy who has epilepsy, aggressive behavior and word approximations. I spent some time with him, and taught him the sign for 'eat' and 'more'. While working with him, one of the little girls, actually picked up the entire sentence ('I want more to eat.') in English which only goes to show you that these children are craving stimulation!

The previous year, I had been introduced to Olga who observed me singing songs and working with the children in Groupa House 3 (Ivanna, Leeza, Masha, Patrick, and Timothy) and I felt very uncomfortable under her watch at that time. When Sasha told me that she requested a meeting with me, I was very excited. Unfortunately, our translator didn't show up so we were reduced to pantomining, and gesturing to communicate initally. We really connected during our meeting as poor little Timothy responded in Ukrainian and gestured frantically for 'more'. Fortunately, Olya Skripak showed up and was able to fill in the blanks for both of us!! I was so pleased to find out that Olga really wants to learn how we do Early Intervention in America! Both her and the Doctor was very curious about our Daily Schedule for the children and the amount of therapy and intervention the children get. They were shocked when they found out that we DO NOT put the children down to rest for three hours in the afternoon like they do! She also did not understand why we use sign language and picture exchange to facilitate langauge development. I was surprised to learn that as a speech therapist she has NO access to a computer! SO for now, all our communication will have to be through her son.
Olga is very proud of the art work she has the children do and was very interested in some of the projects we did in our class. So for now, I will be preparing 'Make it and Take it' projects for her to do with the children! I would love to be able to send activities to her, so if anyone going to Vorzel wouldn't mind, could I send some along with you? I will also be sending her a giant ranbow which we painted with the children's handprints! I suggested they do a similar one on the wall of the Sensory ROom' which the ALmz Mission is making!

In preparation for adoption and sending the children out into the real world, Olga had received a Grant and had professional videos made introducing the children to various things in the community such as the fire trucks and ambulance. These were very well made and filmed on the grounds of the orphange. She  showed me one about furniture, which was a narration of the function and various types of furniture in  a home. For this one, they went to a furniture store and filmed all the various chairs, sofas, tables, etc.. My philosophy is that the 'teacher is  the facilitator of active learning experiences' and her approach is the 'child as a passive learner'. We were able to debate this without me becoming too passionate and Olga was very receptive and understood my point indeed. It conitnues to bother me that all the toys in the room looked 'untouched' by children and expressed this to her. I may have 'hit a nerve' buit I know where I must start!

I was also very happy to hear that she has been providing some services to the local children with developmental needs from the surrounding commuities! So we  have the start of Early Intervention at Vorzel and a contact who is more than ready to learn and implement developmentally appropriate practices! I am really looking forward to returning and to begin training the staff which the Head Doctor requested after our meeting!!

The Almaz Mission Group is working hard on creating a SENSORY room ( which I insisted on calling the Early Intervention Therapy room) so some really great things are starting to happen in Vorzel!  I'm going to need to either learn Russian/Ukrainian or learn how to Google Translate and send her some materials!! Anyway, I was so happy to meet Olga, and begin our professional relationship providing quality Ealry Intervention Services for the children, not only in the orphanage but in the comminity as well! As a token 'seal' of our professional relationship, Olga presented me a pinecone from a tree planted by Alexander the Great himself in honor of his wife Catherine!! (She loved seeing the picture of Masha painting a pinecone and sprinking glitter on it ! They need glitter and paint smocks as well!)