Friday, November 29, 2019

#GivingTuesday: A Sympathetic Ear is... Within Our Reach

This #GivingTuesday, A Sympathetic Ear is... Within Our Reach.

When our youngest, Joseph, was in school, he and we struggled to help him survive school.  Joseph has Attention Deficit Disorder.

When our kids were small, the Nicaraguan public schools were short-staffed, had no textbooks and had 60 plus kids to one class who had to carry their own desks to school.  Not to have our kids take the precious spots, we sent ours to private schools, and even the private schools had no idea how to deal with a child with ADD and very hyperactive.

When Pat was alive and working as a therapist in the Nueva Vida Clinic, she treated lots of kids.  She saw 376 people last year and 76% of them were kids from ages 6-12 years.  Many had family problems and behavioral problems and about 15% had problems with development, learning disabilities.  ADD in Nicaragua falls within the purview of psychology as opposed to education.  The teachers here are not trained to educate children with learning challenges… like our Joseph.

After Pat died last December, we were fortunate to have Dr. Dominga Soto come and volunteer with us.  She has filled in the gaping hole that Pat’s death left.  In 2019, just through October, Dr. Soto has seen 404 people:  including 1/4 children 6-12 years old; 1/4 teens; 1/5 little kids under 6 years old; and 1/5 adult women. She has provided tutorials for parents with children with learning challenges and behavioral problems, as well as tutorials in the schools in Nueva Vida.

After a year, Dr. Soto needs a part-time salary and for just $450/month we can pay her, with benefits, including her 13th month pay required by Nicaraguan law.  Let’s put aside all the help she gives to those grieving, surviving trauma, domestic violence, sexual assault, etc. Let’s just consider those children who cannot focus, cannot sit still, cannot read because of dyslexia… these are the poor children who actually go to school and might be able to move out of poverty if they could study… they deserve help… just as much as our Joseph.


NOTE: If you are using the mobile version, click on "web version" to see the full blog with all the features including "subscribe to blog by email".  Please join us and also share on your social media.