Hello from China! We are thankful for a smooth trip and warm welcome from our friends here. We arrived with our four suitcases and got to ride to the clinic the first morning with the trunk open and backseat full because we had some difficulty getting all of our supplies to fit!
We’ve had a busy two days. On Wednesday we evaluated new children at Dr. Lin’s clinic and got to see some familiar faces! We are always excited to see the same children and families and continue to build these relationships.
Amy did a quick presentation on Thursday morning for the staff that provided some new information for assessments and treatment approaches for young children with Autism. After this, we enjoyed spending the rest of the morning seeing the kids from the day before.
On Thursday afternoon we traveled across this little city of 11 million people and visited a housing complex designated for children with special needs. Families who have a child with a disability are provided government assisted housing and live together in a community of apartments. We were initially told we would see three children but word quickly spread and we had a crowd and were packed like sardines into a small common space on the 2nd floor of the complex. It felt like true TEAMWorks style. Lori was in high demand this afternoon with every child coming through the door having a physical need. Dr. Lin was busy reading X-Rays in the afternoon window light, translating, and assessing children. Amy was named a SPOT by Lori (Speech-Physical-Occupational Therapist) helping children with basic communication, oral motor techniques, reaching, sitting, and facilitating some standing and tummy time! Lori was able to do her magic on some orthotics using a borrowed hair dryer and a decorative flower spoon for one little boy. We made friends with many of the children quickly but some were very uneasy and needed more time. One dad (who also had a significant physical disability) expressed concerns about his little boy’s oral motor skills. The little boy would have absolutely no part in Amy getting any where near his mouth, so dad became the patient, and Amy demonstrated oral motor exercises on the dad. We saw several older children with significant needs, and enjoyed just spending some time loving on them and encouraging their parents. Our hearts were broken for the amount of needs yet full because we got the privilege of serving. We were able to give all of the children a toy as we left and a paparzzi style photo shoot ensued! This gave us a nice laugh on the way out for the afternoon.
“We love because he first loved us.” 1 John 4:19
PS Amy didn’t eat all 3 bowls of breakfast soup alone.
Please excuse the random Guatemala photo below. It does not appear on the edit screen and it won't go away!