2 Lives:2 Miles Apart // School (by unicef)

All children have a right to patient teachers, meaningful participation, and inclusive education.

Laura and Carlos, two teenagers with disabilities from Mozambique, discuss their experiences at school.

2 Lives: 2 Miles Apart is a series of short films that highlights crucial issues impacting children. “Children with disabilities” is the title of this year’s “The State of the World’s Children” report, released by UNICEF.


Goodbye for now…


Boy am I going to miss everyone one in these pictures. I don’t know if I can really put into words what I have gained from my weeks here. However, it has really regrounded and focused me and I have left with some mandatory morning skype appointments, great friends, a writing team and a group of wonderful teachers and kids to collaborate with! Just the fact that they there are 14 kids (a few heads got blocked by others!) with autism in these pictures and no one is crying should say something about how much has already been achieved!


 Much love <3. Already thinking waiting a year is just too long! January trip anyone? :) 

One last run around the sensory room :)

Saying goodbye to some of the best teachers I have had the pleasure to work with!

Teen boys got invaded by the younger kids and Im not sure they know what to think about that!

Two of my favorite guys sitting on the sofa together :)

Early Intervention

So today brought my time in Malaysia to a close. But not before a busy morning. I spent most of the morning in the center. I had put together a schedule idea for the teen boys and some room arrangement changes. Teachers were ready to make some changes and got busy rearranging the room and cleaning. I should have taken a picture but I forgot!! Before I new it, it was time to go, but not before a sad goodbye and some pictures…oh and  a visit to a little boy suspected of needing early intervention. 

So Hasnah, Sazlina and I headed off to the child’s house for a visit. The is just turning 4. We spent about 30 minutes at the house. Parents are concerned he might have autism. Hasnah wants my opinion. There is a clear issue here. In the states this there would be little doubt that he is in need of early intervention. He has some classic signs of autism but also has some social and language skills that indicate maybe not. From my point of view 1. He needs early intervention and 2. it shouldn’t matter, if at 4 we can’t decide. Who wants to put a label on a kid that young? Not me!

The problem(s). 1. He needs a label to get services (slp, pt, ot). :(. 2. Yes, he needs early intervention….but is there anywhere that provides this service and if there is, are they using evidence based practices? and would they serve him without a label?  Ack! How do you tell a parent, yes, your child need early intervention but Im sorry, I can’t recommend anywhere that provides that. :(

The National center will help address issues like this for some young children. Hopefully it will also rapidly multiple and expand!

Mean Monkeys

Well, the trip wouldn’t be complete if I hadn’t have encountered mean monkeys. So yesterday there was a family of monkeys that came to visit the autism center. I saw them out the window and went to grab my camera. They were on the grounds, the roof and the fence, must have been about 10 of them. Jumping around. Of course when they saw me come out most of them ran off. I happened to catch one who ran away with a orange food container up in a nearby tree.

As I was taking those pictures I heard a thud on the tin roof above me and then saw the mean face of a mad monkey right above me! This must have been the family spokesperson! He was not at all happy with me and he let me know that!  I tried to get a picture of his mean face but after a couple attempts I lost my bravery and headed inside! Here he is checking on his family but still making sure I go away! haha

 I don’t blame him for being mean, he was just doing his job very effectively! 

CP in Malaysia

Kids with Cerebral Palsy in Malaysia. This summer we focused mostly on Autism, however there are so many kids here needing services. There is a super high need for teacher training, comprehensive programs (OT, PT, SLP services anyone?)  and early intervention services. So much to be done. I have had the pleasure of meeting and becoming friends and colleagues with Dr. Sazlina K. She works with kids with CP and has a passion for getting kids services! So her and I have a lot in common. We haven’t talked too much about CP, just briefly, and my next visit here I want to explore much more. However, my understanding is that kids with CP have just as much difficulty, if not more difficulty, than kids with autism. In all my school visits I did not see one student with a physical disability :(.  There motor skills, compounded with difficulties with language have proven tough barriers to access to education and then if that barrier is overcome, access to good instruction. One step at a time! <3

To the Beach with a Friend

I am going to miss Hasnah a ton. I am regretting not spending more time with her in Oregon! She and I, in a lot of ways, are very similar. She is the most passionate, hard working, dedicated person I know and it is a privilege to have her in my life both as a friend and a colleague. I see many a published paper in our future and lots of changing special education in malaysia (Sazlina too!). Anyway, after parent training on sunday we had some lunch and then headed to the beach. We spent a couple hours just doing nothing! Was wonderful. 

Suburban Elem School 

Suburban Elem. School Visit

On Tuesday morning we went to visit very pretty suburban elementary school about 30 min. from Bangi. They have special education classroom and are providing services for some kids with disabilities. The majority of kids appeared to have mild to modernt intellectual disabilities and were working on very basic academics. The head teacher told us that many of the teachers do not have degrees in special education, but in other areas (TESL for example). There is such a high need for teacher training and curriculum development here. So much work to be done, I am sad to be leaving soon. However, this school is very excited about the possibility of collaboration with SUNY and UKM, so it is one possibility for our program to make a difference. 

At parent education class I met this geography expert.

Peanut Vendor in Malaka, My

Autism Awareness Walk was in Malaka.