Work in a school helping children with special needs

his project works in a school for children with special needs who are unable to attend mainstream schools in Huancayo. It works with children broadly split into three groups – deaf, blind, and those who with developmental disabilities. The various diagnoses including Autism, Down ́s Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, Guillan Barré Syndrome, visual impairment, auditory impairment as well as other cognitive and physical impairments.

The school includes children aged 5-21.

These children have many needs, including: education about meaningful activity; adaptation of home and school environments to meet self-care, work, volunteering, or leisure needs; positioning assessments for sitting, sleeping and feeding; education regarding grading activity to provide a more inclusive environment and adaptive equipment needs including how they can be developed locally.

Previous volunteers have performed home visits to help identify adaptations to the home environment required for children in wheelchairs. They have also worked with a local carpenter to make transfer boards for use in the school when working with the physiotherapists there. Family and staff are very appreciative of suggestions as there is currently no registered occupational therapist practicing in the province of Junín. Continued support is needed and would be greatly appreciated.

The volunteers arrive at 8.45 a.m. and the day begins around 9:00. Often the children are gathered outside before heading to their classrooms. The school is organized into about eight classes of between 5 and 15 children each (depending on the attention they require). There is a dedicated teacher and often a helper or student in each class, and the volunteers work to support the staff at the school. The staff ensures that volunteers are never left alone with the children.

The school also has a number of psychologists, physiotherapists and a physical education teacher, who work with the children throughout the day.

Just a short walk/taxi ride from the volunteer house, it’s an ideal place for anyone who wants to gain experience working with these incredible children in Peru. It is an excellent opportunity to learn about the special attention and love that disabled children require, and the children always love the help of our volunteers!