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ECHO Autism Role Call

September 18, 2023

Get to Know the ECHO Autism Team Expanding Access to Care  ECHO Autism is a virtual learning network of providers offering real-time access to autism and behavioral experts. In Spring 2024, Smile A While Foundation will be rolling out ECHO Autism Jamaica to expand access to therapy resources for special needs children and families. The…

The Lost Children: Where’s the Data?

July 28, 2023

Highlighting the importance of keeping better data on special needs children in Jamaica.   The Jamaican Population Census of 2001 noted that there were 162,800 persons who self-identified as having a disability in Jamaica. Children under 14 make 21% of that population (Unicef, 2018) and yet information about how these children are impacted, and whether…

New Partnership with ECHO Autism To Move Knowledge, Not People

July 6, 2023

Smile A While’s new program as part of ECHO Autism will connect knowledge to children and families in Jamaica for better care. Moving Knowledge, Not People  Earlier this year, our Founder and Executive Director, Joanne Oates, connected with ECHO Autism Project with a dream of bringing better care to children with autism in Jamaica.  We…

Splinting Clinic Shines Light on Challenges to Serve Special Needs Youth in Jamaica

June 1, 2023

Our vision that every disabled child in the Caribbean leads a fulfilling life is no small undertaking, yet we believe that every step forward is one that creates impact.  We were excited to spend our time with a group of 15 Jamaican medical professionals during our recent volunteer week on the island (read more about…

Splinting Clinic Impact!

April 24, 2023

  Our team of volunteers is back from Jamaica and excited to share the great impact we created during Smile A While’s first group clinic week! In total, four therapists travelled to Jamaica to improve services for special needs youth. Our first stop was to provide a 4-hour workshop to 15 Jamaican medical professionals on…

Splinting Clinic – Meet Our Therapists!

April 4, 2023

As a volunteer in our upcoming splinting clinic, Debby Schwartz is excited to finally put her knowledge and expertise to use in a very impactful way.  “I am excited because every year I have offered these splints to therapists going on trips like this, but I have never gone on one,” she said. “I am…

Sensory Spaces Play Key Role in Self Regulation

April 2, 2023

Therapeutic rooms provide spaces for self-exploration, regulation and positive change for individuals with developmental disabilities. What is a sensory room? A sensory room is a therapeutic space that can provide support for a variety of special needs including vision difficulties, language difficulties, learning disabilities, emotional disturbances and any student who needs a safe, quiet room…

ITTS Program Paves Way for Increased ‘Autism-Friendly’ Approach in Jamaica

January 8, 2023

Hear from (4) professional therapists who attended a virtual conference, ‘Autism: Beyond Limits‘  through our Interdisciplinary Team Training Series (ITTS) program. The importance of continuing education In our world, information and technology is constantly changing. This makes the need for continuing education essential for occupational therapists to maintain clinical excellence and update their skills, knowledge…

Custom Splints Offer Individual Care to Jamaican Kids in 2023

November 21, 2022

Have you heard? We’re launching a splinting clinic! Every special needs child in the Caribbean should lead a fulfilling life. Our mission is to provide therapy services to disabled children in areas where access to such support is not widely available.  We are excited to be partnering with Elaine Allen-Bradley who is currently managing a…

Ways You Can Make the Holidays Brighter

October 10, 2022

Shine your light for special needs children in the Caribbean this holiday season Hello quarter four 2022, all of us at Smile A While Foundation are gearing up for the holiday season, but our support community plays an intricate role in our plan to support and service children and families in 2023. If you are…