Children Living with Developmental Disorders (Dyslexia & Autism)

Children Living With Developmental Disorders 



Overview

Children Living with Developmental Disorders in Jamaica

Autism disorder, dyslexia, ADD, and other developmental disorders affect many children in Jamaica. As there is no cure as yet, early diagnosis is very important in helping them lead useful lives and getting help in speech, social skills and physical abilities.

Because children with mental disorders have communication problems and find it difficult to adjust socially, providing schools and resources for their development is very costly.

Most of the schools, especially those in impoverished communities are understaffed and lack teachers with specialized skills. Volunteer help is invaluable in bringing these students to a functional level to lead more meaningful lives.

Come to Jamaica and you’ll be rewarded as you watch these little ones progress.

Children Living with Developmental Disorders
 

Types of Placements : We’ll find a match for your skills. Most of these will be in centres for children with autism, neurological disorders in children, bipolar disorder in children and anxiety disorders.Role : Provide support to teachers in specialized areas, train teachers and other support staff, give love and support to the children.Age Requirement : 18 years and over

Location : Schools and centres in Kingston and the parish of St. Andrew Jamaica

Project duration : Minimum 1 week and maximum 3 months

 

Gina Ghioldi’s Story

Gina Ghioldi, a lawyer from Massachusetts USA, came to Jamaica to volunteer. Hear her story of how she made a difference to children with developmental disorders.

I had the most incredible 2 week experience – it really was life changing.  Jamaica Volunteer Programs matched me up with Lisa Stoddart Millingen, the founder of Therapy Plus, an amazing organization that serves children with dyslexia, ADD, autism and other congenital and developmental disorders.  It was the perfect place for me to volunteer my services.

When I first contacted Jamaica Volunteer Programs, I shared with them that my 21 year old son is very bright, but had dyslexia.  After years of working with him and observing his special education teachers and tutors, I had acquired knowledge that I wanted to share with dyslexic children who might not have the many resources that were available to my son.

I have always dreamt of doing dyslexia volunteer projects abroad so the initial plan was for me to provide additional reading and writing support to Therapy Plus but that role almost immediately expanded from the first day.

On my second day I shadowed Lisa as she went in to the only state run preschool (up to age 8) for disabled children called Stimulation Plus, located in the heart of the capital, Kingston.  Some of the children there had physical handicaps such as cerebral palsy, some children had down’s syndrome, but most of the children were kids with autism ranging from mild to full blown.  To Lisa’s and my surprise, Stimulation Plus was where I found my “calling” and from then on I spent the first half of each day teaching class and working with children one on one

The children at Stimulation Plus were so precious and eager to learn.  They greeted me every day with hugs and enthusiasm, calling me “Auntie Gina with the beautiful hat” (all teachers are called “Auntie” and I had a big straw hat with a bow I wore in the sun).

One little girl with severe cerebral palsy was confined to a wheel chair, but she knew her letters and words so she was my “assistant”, sitting next to me as I tutored the other children.

Another  8 year-old boy who was at the school under a diagnosis of autistic was known to also have dyslexia, but after working one on one with him it became clear to me that his challenges stemmed not from being autistic, but he had double deficit dyslexia with low self-esteem, just like my son had as a child.  This little boy did not even know the letters to his name, much less how to spell it. I used clay to teach him the letters of his name.

Jamaica had always been my favorite vacation destination, which is why I chose it for my first volunteer experience. But now, Jamaica is far more than that – it is my second home.  The people, their passion and their culture are even more intoxicating than the beaches and swim-up bars at the resorts.

I never imagined the experience would impact me the way it has, but I think Jamaica Volunteer Programs  knew all along it would ….all  they had to do was expose me to the “Real Jamaica” and let me figure it out on my own.

Project Info

Placements Details

This placement is suitable for persons who know how to attend to the special needs that children with developmental disorders have.

We welcome college students who have specialized training and are seeking to build skills and get experience.  If you are a trained professional, we welcome your services. Depending on your qualifications and training, you would be placed in either schools or medical facilities.

Project Days & Time

Congenital disorder volunteer projects abroad will be available Monday – Fridays from 9:00 am to approximately 4:30pm. If you would like a shorter day we can organize this.

We want you to be totally immersed in the Jamaican culture so on weekends our organization offers day excursions and cultural immersion experiences. We continually look for eye-opening cultural activities for you to do in your free time.

Duration of this project

Our Children Living with Developmental Disorders projects start from one week to a maximum of three months.

Want to do more than one project?

Developmental disorder volunteer projects abroad often combine placements with work in dyslexia friendly schools and Orphanages. If you are interested in working with children in these facilities you can make this request.

How Children Living with Developmental Disorders works?

Orientation: When you arrive at the volunteer home you will be given an orientation. During the orientation you’ll be told what to expect the following day, the time of departure and pick up.

Transportation:

On your first day and every day of your project we will provide transportation. Depending on your project location you might be transported with other volunteers or alone.

What to expect on the first day of your project

We promised to be always there for you, so as a part of your in-country support, we provide one of our Program Advisors to accompany you to your project on your first day. You will be introduced to the local staff and we help you settle in. We will not leave you until we are sure that you are comfortable and have clear instructions on what to do.

Before our departure, we will help you make arrangements for an affordable lunch or we will show you how to find the closest food store. At end of the day, we’ll pick you up at the agreed time. On your way home, we can go the extra mile to allow you to purchase supplies or get money changed to our local currency.

Start Dates

Start Dates

Our programs for learning difficulties are available all year round allowing you to take part when you can, so on your application you will indicate your start and end dates. Although we are flexible there are times during the year when Jamaica has major holidays and celebration, so it is advisable to plan your trip that your dates do not coincide with these major events.

Pre- set arrival dates

If you are travelling as a group or with family members, we’ll work with you to set the dates of your arrival. We ask that you book your flight to arrive on the weekend so that you can start on a Monday. If your arrival date cannot be on a weekend, you need to make special arrangements for a mid–week start date.

Last minute booking

We encourage you to always plan your volunteering trips early as pre-planning allows you to get more out of your trip. If you decide at the last minute to volunteer in Jamaica, it might be possible to make it happen but it will depend on the project. Complete the application form and contact us to find out if we can make the project of your choice happen.

How to Get Started

How to Get Started























Prices


Dyslexia

  • Add Program Fee $100 US
  • 1 Week $799 US
  • 2 Weeks $1,500 US
  • 3 Weeks $2,100 US
  • 4 Weeks $2,630 US
  • 5 Weeks $3,150 US
  • 6 Weeks & Over – Request a Quote



Human Rights

  • Add Program Fee $100 US
  • 1 Week $799 US
  • 2 Weeks $1,500 US
  • 3 Weeks $2,100 US
  • 4 Weeks $2,630 US
  • 5 Weeks $3,150 US
  • 6 Weeks & Over – Request a Quote


Career Break

  • Add Program Fee $100 US
  • 1 Week $799 US
  • 2 Weeks $1,500 US
  • 3 Weeks $2,100 US
  • 4 Weeks $2,630 US
  • 5 Weeks $3,150 US
  • 6 Weeks & Over – Request a Quote



Mature & Retired

  • Add Program Fee $100 US
  • 1 Week $799 US
  • 2 Weeks $1,500 US
  • 3 Weeks $2,100 US
  • 4 Weeks $2,630 US
  • 5 Weeks $3,150 US
  • 6 Weeks & Over – Request a Quote



Reviews

December 22, 2014

Ashlee Downing

This was an eye opening experience I went to Jamaica and volunteered at the Manning’s Hill Primary School. While there, I was able to work with […]
December 22, 2014

Bill Ferguson

My life has changed because of my volunteer vacation to Jamaica My students and I had arrived very late at the Norman Manley International Airport on […]
December 22, 2014

Gina Ghioldi

I was matched with the perfect organization I was seeking a volunteer experience that would afford me the opportunity to work with learning disabled primary school-age […]
December 22, 2014

Tracey Veivers

Rejuvenation – Jamaica delivered Needing some perspective on life I wanted to volunteer working with children. I chose Jamaica as a destination. And Jamaica delivered. JVP […]




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