Motivating children to realize their potential

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Culture

Autism Conference hosted by CAADD

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Isaac Bermudez, our Clinical Director and I are currently flying home from Querétaro, Mexico where Isaac was the keynote speaker at an Autism Conference hosted by a local autism provider named CAADD. Isaac shared Love 2 Learn’s work with Verbal Behavior and NET plans with this international audience. Professionals from around the world including Mexico, the Dominican Republic, and Argentina responded to Isaac’s presentation with enthusiasm and the desire to learn more about NET Plans within Verbal Behavior programs.

Teresa Reyes, the founder and Director of CAADD, welcomed Isaac and I to her conference and the beautiful city of Querétaro by personally picking us up from the airport, touring two schools with us, coordinating historic tours of Querétaro and meeting us for many late night dinners all while hosting a 3-day autism convention. Teresa has a warm team of family, friends, and professionals who supported the conference. Enrique Gomez Castellanos, a charming and brilliant administrator with CAADD spent many hours telling us about his work with CAADD and the autism community in Mexico. Daniel Torres and Cecilia Di Salvo, gifted music therapists with CAADD treated us to a few private performances that left us in awe of the power of music.

Dr. Ira Heilveil of Touchstone Educational Consultants premiered a clip of his upcoming documentary called “Autism In Love”. This film tells a story of how three couples diagnosed with autism experience love. The clip was captivating, provocative and heartwarming. One mother of a child with autism responded to the film by telling Dr. Heilveil (Executive Producer) and Carolina Groppa (Producer) that the film gave her hope that her child might be able to grow up and experience love, acceptance and companionship. Another person responded with empathy- that she too experienced many of the feelings of the people in the clip. Another had the experience of forgetting these people had autism and they were simply people in love. The filming is complete and is now in the post- production phase. A release date has not yet been given.

Last and certainly not least I fell in love with a pre-school in Juriquilla called Pequeños Talentos. If I lived in Querétaro this is where I would send my daughter (once she is old enough to go to pre-school). First and foremost it was clear that Pequeños Talentos is a labor of love for the founders Barbara Martorell and Ricardo Torres Landa. Besides the beautifully modern building surrounded by plants and flowers the first thing I noticed when walking in was a flyer announcing yoga classes for the little ones. I was immediately excited to see what other avant-garde techniques that they used. As we turned the corner we entered a bright and sunny courtyard where children were planting seedlings in clay pots. When we entered the classroom we took note of the minimalistic but warm environment. The wood floors, big windows, soft rugs and bright murals were stimulating but not overwhelming. It was the perfect learning environment. The teacher who we observed made grammar a game that all the children wanted to play including the child with autism. Thanks to the talented teachers at Pequeños Talentos and ABA work from CAADD this child was indistinguishable from his peers. Barbara and Ricardo told us over and over that their goal is to make sure that the children have the best materials, the best teachers, and the best activities, just as they would want for their own children. No detail was overlooked as Ricardo is an architect by trade and he designed and executed the two story modern style school. I fantasize about moving to Mexico for a short time in order to learn the language and I know exactly where my daughter would be spending her days.

To say the least this trip was filled with so many unexpected gifts. We discovered a beautiful city in Mexico that is filled passionate professionals and truly warm people. It was our honor to share our gifts of Verbal Behavior programs with this community. Isaac and I are flying back to Love 2 Learn in Orange County as we speak with new colleagues, friends and ideas for the future.

For more information on CADDD, click here.