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What other Care Professionals say about our program

Olivia shares...
...why she participated in our Experiential Learning Program and how she was able to grow professional and personal
Read the testimonial here
Physical Therapist Tanja shares....
...about her experience with Apex Social and working with a non verbal child
Read the experience share here

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Interview with US Care Professional and ABA Therapist Olivia

Apex Educational and Therapeutic Resources Coach Viktoria and Apex Executive Director of Care and Development Virginia are interviewing US Care Professional and ABA Therapist Olivia about her time, work and experience with Apex Social in Florida, USA.


My name is Tanja, and I am a licensed physical therapist from Germany. I have been with Apex Social for three months now, near Philadelphia, PA USA.

At the beginning of the matching phase, the Apex Matching team asked me if I could imagine working with non-verbal children. Since I had never worked with this diagnosis before, and the idea made me somewhat uncertain, my preference was to be matched with verbal children of any age. However, throughout the entire process, I was only contacted by families with non-verbal children.

Tanja, a physical therapist, works with a non-verbal child.

I thought, ‘I can’t do this’ – or can I?

So, I started to explore why it was such a big challenge for me to work with non-verbal children. It turned out that my fear was not being able to understand the children or communicate with them effectively. After all, it would be an additional hurdle alongside the language barrier if the child I was supposed to care for couldn’t always tell me what the problem was or express their needs. Eventually, I decided to go ahead and be matched with a family with a non-verbal child.

“It requires some adjustment, especially at the beginning, until you get used to it. However, I don’t really think about it anymore.”

My host child, Lucas, is 11 years old. Due to an accident and resulting brain injury, he is non-verbal. However, we have never had a problem understanding each other. Lucas taught me that verbal communication and language are not synonymous with communication. In his daily life, Lucas often uses his Talker to let me know what’s on his mind or communicates his priorities through sign language. Since Lucas cannot use sign language due to hemiparesis, he has developed his own signs. His parents showed me the most important signs at the beginning of my stay, and I learned the rest over time. The way you ask questions also makes a massive difference. I’ve learned to either ask “yes” and “no” questions, to which Lucas responds with nods, head shakes, or his signs, or to give him options from which he can make decisions.

Communication with an AAC Device

You might be wondering what a ‘Talker’ is. So, let’s go back to that. It’s an AAC Device (augmentative and alternative communication device). In essence, it’s an iPad configured to provide access to an application containing vocabulary that the person using the Talker has learned. With the help of this device, you can use words to communicate important messages, and the people around formulate the corresponding sentences. Alternatively, complete sentences can be composed on the Talker. Of course, this also depends on the person’s cognitive abilities.
Tanja’s Host Child with AAC Device
One thing I can say from my experience and conversations with other care professionals is that communication always works, even in emergencies, albeit sometimes with gestures and actions, similar to what you might experience when traveling abroad.