APTS in Jordan: Entry 2

 
April 21, 2017
Jordan: First Week Synopsis
 

I have approached the end of my first week here.  So far, I have had various interactions with the families. It is definitely a “different world. Most striking has been the need for more clinical knowledge and the very different approach to parenting, discipline, and modeling of appropriate social interactions. I have enjoyed a couple of cases where we have had a fairly immediate impact on the children and demonstrated to parents how a few simple ABA approaches can result in behavioral improvement.

One challenge in particular involved my interactions between a son and his father. While at school, the child had been copying his father’s behavior. He would do this while interacting with the teacher, which eventually led to the child’s expulsion. During my time with them, I sought to physically model to the father the appropriate behavioral response to the son by role-play. The father consistently responded in an adverse physical manner based on the way he had been raised. The breakthrough took place when the mother reinforced what I was demonstrating to the family.

There are varying degrees of conditions in the homes and schools based on individual geographic and demographic location. There are many programs operating with very little funding that are striving to create an environment that is as therapeutic as possible. Many programs have been very creative with the kinds of tasks and projects they do with their students. Some make items, which are sold to raise money.
The photo is of an amazingly program I got to visit staffed by a really dedicated group of professionals. They too, like the other programs just want the best for the students they serve.

There is a broad range of variety concerning the schools as well as the students’ homes. The conditions are challenging for the families, yet they are determined to live the best life possible.

I hope to set up at least one main workshop towards the end of my visit. My goal is to help create a stable platform with which they can strengthen the programs to receive students and, from there, help develop BIPs that can realistically be implemented.

APTS in Jordan: Entry 1

 
April 18, 2017
Jordan: Refugee Camp Near Syria
 
I’m here…I finally made it to Jordan! Over the last two days, I’ve gained much insight while on this extraordinary adventure. I am enjoying meeting the very loving families and many of the instructors who wholeheartedly want to do the best they can for the kids in their care.
 
Today, I visited a school in a refugee camp near Syria. Many issues are similar to those found in the U.S. and although my initial intent was to focus primarily on behavioral support, there is a tremendous need for operational and infrastructure design and development. At the school, I was able to meet with OT Speech, PT, and Teachers, and soon observed that they struggled to communicate with each other on a clinical level. I spent most of my time with them facilitating greater collaboration to help improve the strategies they were using with the students.
 
My desire is to encourage the redesign of their programs’ internal structures; their primary foci being staff ratio, environmental modifications, daily scheduling, and organizational structure. Many conversations moving forward will stress those changes in order to facilitate success with the behavioral consulting I am providing.
 
While much of what I have encountered has been challenging, I am in my element and am more convinced than ever before that APTS can and will make a difference here.
 
-Alan El Tagi
“Charting a Path to Success”