Archive for March, 2008

Resala Trip to Alexandria

March 29, 2008

Three small buses full of deaf people, children with special needs, their families and volunteers and two Resala employees moved from in front of the Nasr City branch of Resala in Cairo yesterday heading to Alexandria. I was among the volunteers and we spent a great day over there visiting the citadel at Alexandria and spending some time on the beach.

Child at Beach

Alexandria Castle Cannon

Alexandria Castle

Gifted Child inside Citadel

Physalis in Egypt

Google SketchUp for Down Syndrome

March 23, 2008

Inspired by Project Spectrum which aims at “[helping] people with autism take advantage of their visual and spatial gifts” I selected SketchUp as the program to teach to a 17-year-old girl at Resala who has down syndrome.

Today it was my second session with her. Last session was exactly one week a go. I was astonished with how much and how clearly she remembered the steps for doing almost everything I had taught her during our last session. I have been delivering SketchUp training sessions to regular people with normal mental abilities and none of them ever remembered what I had given him/her in a past session in such detail.

Not only was it that one complete week had passed since the last session, but also this girl did not have SketchUp installed yet on her computer at home, which means she did not practice at all between the two sessions! That was an amazing thing for me to see and I have learnt a lot from it. It seems that such kids have special mental abilities and hidden talents that only need to be tapped into in order to reveal themselves.

During today’s session, I invited her father to stay with us during the training telling him that perhaps he can learn the program too himself. I thought of it as some sort of family learning which is one method of promoting better learning. He was totally surprised by what his daughter was able to do with SketchUp. As the session progressed, he told me that I had a lot of patience in teaching. To me, I do not see it as patience but I see it more of an appreciation of the varied skills and potential of others whom might lack some aspects of your mental abilities yet exceed you in others.