Tuesday, January 17, 2012

My Special Need


This is my Dad with my little sister when we were kids

All my life, I've had the good fortune to be surrounded by the disabled.  Time after time, they have inspired me and taught me valuable lessons.  Part of the reason for this is that my sister is disabled, but even before she was born, I had a friend with Down Syndrome, and I've had many disabled friends since then.


This summer, as I was contemplating the coming year, I had one wish for my teenager--that she would learn to see the world in a more positive way.  You know how it is for teenagers.  It seems like everyone's rated according to popularity, looks, grades, athletic ability, and test scores.  A lot of teens have critical attitudes, and I don't blame them.  In their world, everything has a score.




Well, my wish was granted.  In August, my daughter accepted a volunteer opportunity to help with a special needs church group, which we call "Special Needs Mutual."  Every Thursday night, she helps her friends with special needs.  On the days I have carpool duty, I get to walk into the church to observe what's going on, and I have to admit that I love my little visits.  The enthusiasm in that building is contagious.  Special Needs Mutual is obviously the highlight of the week for so many of the participants.  Everyone has a smile.  Everyone feels accepted.  My daughter and the other helpers freely admit that they love it.  I think it's just as much of a break from the real world for them as it is for the people with special needs.  No one has a critical word about it. 



6 comments:

  1. How wonderful for your daughter that she has the chance to do some good in a setting that she obviously loves.

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  2. I totally agree! I was able to participate in a Special Needs Primary at a teenager and I found it very rewarding. I have really fond memories of my experiences there. It changed me for the better.

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  3. What an AWESOME thing to do.
    So cool.

    Also, your book cover is BEAUtiful.

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  4. much of my work experience has been working with children with special needs. tough, difficult, challenging but beautiful experiences.

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  5. Thanks for the comments, everyone. And, Aguilar, you're right. It can be really hard work too.

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  6. This sounds incredible! I would love to be involved with something like that, I'm so happy its having such a great influence on your family.

    Sarah Allen
    (my creative writing blog)

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