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Apr 26, 2019

Our impact, our commitment

When a child with autism encounters changes in his daily routine, his behavior changes dramatically and family dynamics break down. El Avila on fire sending off a smell different from the customary one; electricity coming on and off; no running water; frequent siren sounds; nervous people everywhere, among other things are barriers they must overcome and control in order to continue shining in their surroundings. 

On April 4th 2019, Human Rights Watch reported: “the combination of severe medicine and food shortages within Venezuela, together with the spread of disease across the country’s borders, amounts to a complex humanitarian emergency that requires a full-scale response by the United Nations secretary-general”. Just think how much support our families need to meet their children’s special needs.

Maintaining the essential conditions that allow our children to recover and keep their balance is KEY in such highly uncertain conditions. And we the parents, teachers, and volunteers at Autismo en Voz Alta understand that the vastly structured nature of our program, and the skills we teach, do have a major positive impact in the wellbeing of both them and their families.

We at Autismo en Voz Alta are committed to continue operating our programs and to provide our services. We have developed and implemented back up plans, addressed transportation challenges, and as a team are ready to be there every day to support and educate our kids. You, our donors, make it possible.

No words can express our gratitude on behalf of our community. THANK YOU 

Jan 15, 2019

Passion and Perseverance in rebuilding a country

Some years back I began working at Autismo en Voz Alta with the idea of doing something that would gratify me and where I could grow professionally.   My expectations were more than fulfilled. Throughout the years I’ve come to realize that Autismo en Voz Alta has not only helped me in that venture, it has also given me the opportunity to see the world differently, to understand that we are all different, and that being different is natural.

Working here is like being in a bubble, where everything is done in the best possible way, always aiming at excellence and working with passion. 

To educate is a difficult task, and in Autismo en Voz Alta we educate very special people; we give them the opportunity of having the best education they deserve according to their needs, and providing them with the necessary tools for their social integration.

We have had also to reinvent ourselves to address and survive the severe humanitarian, political and financial crisis in our country. We have had to go beyond the barriers of the classroom to offer support to our students’ families, our personnel, and the professionals who accompany our children and adolescents on a day-to-day basis.

We are filled with pride and satisfaction. We work in a special place where we are appreciated and cared for, and we work enjoying what we do, leaving our mark on each one of our children; we are aware that we are all building a country.

Worldwide we use the image of a puzzle to reflect the enigma of autism, the complexity of this condition. If we compare this with the country where we live, we can say there are many similarities: complexity, uncertainty. No one knows what can happen. What we do have to know is that each of us is an important part of this puzzle; each has a piece in his/her hands; the challenge is to find out how to use that piece, and add to other positive actions. Only in doing that will we be able to build the country we want. 

As we welcome 2019 we are committed to share our capabilities and knowledge and, maintain our impact in our community. Thanks to your support is possible, we are extremely grateful.

Oct 12, 2018

Our Daughters Graduation

Isabella Paul, Cristie’s mother:

 Baptism, first day of school, first communion, fifteen years, eighteen years, graduation…these are all milestones in the life of our children that thrill us and make us feel proud. But also, as parents we imagine what those moments will be like and we make up stories that include our own dreams and illusions about the way we’d like our children to grow. That’s why each one of those milestones with Cristina, my oldest child who has severe autism, has been very difficult. It’s meant going back to the diagnostic, to the differences, to what isn’t, to what she hasn’t, and what she can’t experience.

 For more than three years I’ve been preparing for her eighteenth birthday and the end of her school life. The most frequent feelings were fear, impotence, anguish, uncertainty. By all accounts, children are supposed to become more independent after graduation, and we, as parents begin to have less responsibilities, although no less distress. In the case of a child with severe autism, it’s the other way around as when he/she leaves school the support and affection she received from everyone is gone overnight. Impossible not to be afraid…

 Friday, July 13 was Cristina’s last day of school. I woke up crying. The day I had feared so much had finally arrived. We were invited to the school for a “small farewell act”. With a wild mix of emotions I dressed smartly and went with her. What a pleasant surprise awaited us! The school had prepared a spectacular graduation act, with cap and gown, wonderful words by the school board, the staff, and one student…and Cristie. Her classmates were overwhelmed with emotion. They felt it was a super important day and behaved accordingly, parading to receive their medal and diploma, and posing readily for the photos; they were all overjoyed. All my previous feelings were transformed into happiness, affection, hope, excitement, pride. What a wonderful lesson it was!

At present I’m still not sure what I’m going to do though…but I’m going on ahead with the certainty that things will work out fine, that Cristie can handle anything…that she came to this world to teach me the values of perseverance. She had the graduation with which she had dreamed…thanks to everyone who made it possible.

 Arianette Salinas, Maria Laura’s mother:

 Last July 13, and after eighteen years of learning, we held her hand and closed a cycle, Maria Laura graduated!

 That’s the dream every parent holds dear, to see one’s daughter graduate from school became a reality. A dream we had given up on, that we put aside and that we didn’t dare dream because when you have a child with a special condition those moments in life we’re familiar with become blurred, invisible and unattainable.

 Maria Laura’s graduation with her six classmates reaffirms the faith that has accompanied us from the very first day of her life. Now we’re setting off on a new adventure, that of adult life; we’ll open new doors to a future laden with uncertainties, but also with the anticipation of new experiences and challenges to overcome, strengthened in our love of family and our profound faith.

 Thanks ever so much to all those who have contributed to making this day happen, especially to those professionals at Cepia and Autism en Voz Alta who with their care, patience an powerful commitment carry out the difficult task of helping us discover and understand that human potential has no limits.

 
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