Bangkok Caregiver Meet-up
An outsider looking in may have just seen parents coming to learn, therapists offering free services, students volunteering their time, and teachers coming in on their day off. But what it really was, was a community coming together with the shared knowledge that inclusion benefits all.
Over the last two months, we held several Teach RARE events from Boston to Bangkok, and we met with families from around the world. This was made possible through organizations and companies that care, so a very special thank you to PTC Therapeutics, Inc., Spiral Movement Center, Little Footsteps, and UniChild for making these events possible.
The environment is the third teacher
Little Footsteps, a nurturing and inclusive haven for all children in Bangkok, is opening and inviting. The owner even gave our event privacy by making it accessible only to our rare disease and special needs families. This is important as parents learn to venture out and find new spaces.
The environment at Little Footsteps is ideal for children with challenges. The Reggio Emilia-inspired approach hosts a heartwarming and informative event that brings together professionals in physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy to support families dealing with rare diseases and special needs. This event not only aimed to raise awareness about the challenges these families face but also to provide them with valuable resources and guidance.
Caregiver Lifestyle Event
The event took place on a sunny Saturday morning, with the cheerful laughter of children echoing through the spacious and vibrant facilities of Little Footsteps. Families from all walks of life, each facing unique challenges, came together to share their experiences and seek expert advice.
The event featured a lineup of professionals, each specializing in a particular aspect of therapy, to ensure a comprehensive understanding of the needs of these special children. The physical therapy center was adorned with colorful mats, exercise balls, and toys, creating an environment that encouraged the children to engage in activities that promoted their physical development. Expert therapists were on hand to offer guidance on improving motor skills, strengthening muscles, and enhancing mobility.
Meanwhile, the occupational therapy center was transformed into a sensory wonderland, filled with various tactile and interactive stations. Children with sensory processing issues were encouraged to explore and experiment with different textures, tastes, and smells in a safe and controlled environment. The occupational therapists offered parents practical strategies to help their children navigate daily tasks and develop independence.
The speech therapy center buzzed with laughter and chatter as children engaged in language games, stories, and exercises designed to improve their communication skills. Our own Judy Wei, who specializes in helping children with speech delays and language disorders, provided insights into fostering language development, augmentative communication, and strategies for overcoming communication barriers.
Throughout the event, parents had the opportunity to interact with professionals, ask questions, and learn more about the latest techniques and tools available for their children. Additionally, the families could connect with one another, forming a tight-knit support network that provided both emotional and practical support.
Until next time!
The event culminated with a heartwarming tribute from students at RIS International School. Protocol Band and Prism gave up their weekend to perform for our families. Their volunteer work is a commitment to their character and passion for music.
While our bands played, children had free play sessions. Parents shared success stories as they enjoyed delicious Thai food for lunch. During our closing sessions, parents shared how their children were able to make significant progress. These stories served as a beacon of hope and inspiration for families facing similar challenges, reminding them that with the right guidance, patience, and support, remarkable improvements were possible.
Little Footsteps’ center is a place for all families but we are so grateful to have it for our rare disease and special needs families. The event brought together an international community of individuals who understand the unique journey these families undertake daily. It provided them with the invaluable resources and support they need to help their children thrive, fostering hope, camaraderie, and a brighter future for these extraordinary kids.
This event demonstrated that with love, dedication, and the right professional guidance, every child, regardless of their challenges, has the potential to achieve their dreams.