25 March - ¡Mas Ninos!
Today we set our sights a bit farther and traveled an hour and a half by bus to Asociación Paz y Bien in Chiquimula. This facility was founded by a Jesuit priest from Spain to support children living in extreme poverty in the area. Over the past decade, the project has grown and now provides feeding programs, school support, rehabilitation care, and post-hospital services. It now also serves as a residential facility for cases of extreme necessity. In addition, the organization also provides outpatient services including therapy, medical, and dental care as well as several other programs throughout the community.
We worked with several children who are residents at the facility as well as one who is new to the outpatient clinic. Their diagnoses included brachial plexus injury, CP, incomplete spinal cord injury, Guillain-Barre, and developmental delay due to infantile seizures. We conducted an initial examination by assessing the new child’s skills, including whether or not she could transition independently and whether or not she could bear weight through her extremities. With others, we worked on skills for daily activities, such as sitting balance and reaching outside base of support. We also had more opportunities to assess the appropriateness of orthotic devices such as AFOs.
I find myself gaining more confidence with each passing day. Particularly when working with the children, I’m not held back by my lack of confidence with my Spanish skills. I can relax and have fun working with them on functional skills without worrying about complicated explanations. This is when I truly start to believe in myself and feel like a real physical therapist!