I wrote this essay for GOI Peace International Foundation in 2014. It stated specifically about what I want to do in the future based on my experienced.
Okay, I hope you enjoy it :D
Dare to Express Our Uniqueness
Nowadays, more than many other times in the history of humanity, special need children more accepted than before. Since the development of recent research, give positive result about the treatment, the government has supported to make education system in order they have an equal opportunity, and cared about public facilitation to support the mobility of their daily activity.
In spite of the world’s good news, the disabled in Indonesia is still lack of support. The government has struggled to develop education system for them, but there are still few special need schools and inclusion school which not enough for them. There are also still lacks of public facilitation to support their mobility. The most important truth is people with disabilities are less accepted in social community in Indonesia.
Most of Indonesian still have negative perspective of disabled. They are still believe in having disabled child is punishment from God, and underestimate their ability that they cannot do anything, and many other negative statements. The statement is unfair and against the human right. That negative paradigm will affect their education, social, cultural, and psychological skills. Every person in the world has equal opportunity to achieve their dream. We have to believe in behind their limitation, they can do many incredible things.
I was kind of person who have some negative thought of them before. That things happen was not because I hated or avoided them, it was because I didn’t understand how to dealing with them. Sometimes, our previous experience may impact how our feeling about them. Some us have been taught to avoid, glance away from, or ignore of people with disabilities. The avoidance may be because we don’t know how to act or what to say and may be afraid of making mistake.
I’m a person of faith I didn’t know what was next, but I felt God guiding me. Out of the blue, this negative perspective was faded and changed forever since I have internship program in one of national special need school for visual impairment student in Indonesia. In that school, I met a lot of disabled student with visual impairment, some of them have multi disabled such as mental retarded, autism, etc. I also interacted with student with other kind of disabilities such as; down syndrome, mental retarded, etc. I observed their behavior, how they interacted with the other people, played with friends, and learned in the class.
In spite their disabilities, I realize, there is nothing wrong with them. They just the same as other children who not have disabilities which need care, and love from us. Since that time, I felt more love and more curious about them. I realized, they are not good or bad, but they need to be acknowledged.
The most incredible moment was when I met one of low vision student who has great talent in art, but had some problem in verbal, learning, and social skill. I had to make treatment for him and I decided to do art therapy. Art therapy is one of therapy that using art material as the method since art is known as universal language.
Surprisingly, the art therapy session made an amazing result, which increased his social skill and solved learning problem. It was amazed me how art therapy did work for him. It was wonderful experience that I ever had, which finally changed my life and found my destiny. Since that moment, I finally decided want to be an art therapist.
I believe that my role as an art therapist is to help people in the world explore and express themselves authentically through art. Through this process, people may find relief from overwhelming emotions, crises or trauma. They may discover insights about themselves, increase their sense of well-being, enrich their daily lives.
There are many challenges in the future since art therapy in Indonesia still not well-developed. Although, some people underestimate in my decision to be an art therapist, I believe in my ability to accomplish many great thing during my life time. We live in one world, our idea will give important contribution to our world. Let express our unique talent!