For a few weeks now I have been going to my service learning. As I’ve said before, I’m going to be a speech pathologist someday (in Spanish, foniatra), however, the job isn’t very common here. The best match my director could find for me was a place called Sol y Luna. Sol y Luna (Sun and Moon) is a school for young children with disabilities ranging from toddlers to about 10 years. Although the building is small, It’s extremely colorful and decorated and every square inch is used. There are classes for physical therapy, speech therapy, and to help the children with daily activities and functions.
Sol y Luna is incredible because they rely so much on volunteers. Each child has to have a worker with them at all times, and they really get one-on-one attention. The school also provides help for the parents and families. My experience there has mostly been observing the classes. For example, one class was spent recognizing the numbers 1-10, another one was practicing picking up objects, and another one was spent solely on recognizing and pronouncing the letter A.
Watching these classes made me realize how important small victories are. Often times the children didn’t respond to the questions or exercises, but when they did and when they answered correctly, it was the most exciting thing! For these children just to make the sound of the letter “A” was a great accomplishment. The teachers make such a big difference in their lives, and it’s a joy to watch and very inspiring.
We all need someone to support us in our failures, rejoice in our successes, and believe in us along the way. I hope I can be that person to as many people as possible.