I was LUCKY enough yet again to be part of a very AMAZING day at Bubba's school!!!
The APE teachers, PE teachers, and volunteers from Cal State LB ran the show! Every student came in during their PE period and got to experience what it was like to have several different types of disabilites.
They had wheel chair races and got to see how hard it can be to get around in one. I was not there to see it but Bubba's teacher told me that when it was Bubba's turn to come out and show off his mad wheel chair skills he was a HAM! Oh, and of course he beat them all! :)
They learned about those living with hearing impairments and the challenges that they might face. The students all learned the alphabet in sign language. :)
They got to learn about how difficult fine motor skills can be for those living with physical disabilities. They had to try to button a shirt while wearing large gloves. They could not believe how difficult it was to do something so simple.
They learned about dyslexia and how difficult it is to
read and understand simple instructions at times.
They were taught about assistive technology devices and how important they are to some to be able to communicate. After learning about assistive technology devices they were able to ask an AMAZING fellow student questions as she answered with her device.
Lastly, they learned about visual impairments by an AMAZING student that is blind. He taught his fellow classmates the correct way to help those that are visually impaired and they practiced on each other.
It was an AMAZING day filled with LOTS of education about those with disabilities and their daily challenges. I truly believe that each one of these wonderful young men and women left having a better understanding of their fellow classmates and the challenges that they face. I am so grateful that Bubba is able to attend such an AMAZING school that LOVES and supports their fellow peers.
When Bubba was little I was so sad at the thought that he might not ever have a friend, a true friend that you share secrets with and have sleep overs with. I was worried that not only would he not have a “true friend” but he would be picked on. My heart broke the first time his teacher had to call me to tell me about an incident on the playground when he was called the S word… you know… yes, stupid. I feared that no one would ever take the time to get to know him the way that I know him, that he would never be invited to a birthday party, or get to know the humorous side of him that I love so much.
I was so terrified of the thought of my baby going to junior high middle school. Just the thought of him being around all of those mean, smelly, BIG kids was overwhelming. You know, they have hormones and can be so unkind…. Right?? Well, there is a reason that I fought so hard to get Bubba into the school that he is at, simply put…. It is AMAZING!!!!! Seriously, AMAZING!!! Not only is his teacher a pure angel but the kids….. well, they aren’t that scary after all. To be honest, those BIG, smelly, scary middle school kids are AWESOME!
Yesterday I had the PRIVILEGE of helping at Bubba’s schools Best Buddies carnival. Best Buddies is a nonprofit organization dedicated to establishing a global volunteer movement that creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment and leadership development for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. It is an AMAZING program!! I just realized that I am saying AMAZING a lot in this post. Well, get used to it because I have a feeling that it will be said again. Wink! Students have to fill out an application to be in the Best Buddies program, it is special, a privilege. I was AMAZED as I watched so many beautiful “true friendships” made.
EVERY time I look at this picture of these beautiful girls I cry.
Don't they look like girlfriends sharing secrets and laughing together??
It's my favorite from the day.
Bubba and his two Best Buddies. Justin, the one on the left, is one of Bubba's friends older brother.
He ASKED to be Bubba's Buddy. When I heard this my heart smiled!!! Seriously, it was so AMAZING to watch him with these boys!!! I was afraid that when he saw me he would only want me, like he normaly does. Oh No! He was with his Buddies and had no problem leaving Mommy behind to play with them. I couldn't help but get a little tear watching him forming a "true friendship" with these AMAZING boys!!!
~ The only disability in life is a bad attitude. ~
~ A true friend knows your weaknesses but shows you your strengths; feels your fears but fortifies your faith; sees your anxieties but frees your spirit; recognizes your disabilities but emphasizes your possibilities. ~ William Arthur Ward
"If you judge people, you have no time to love them." - Mother Teresa
"Friendship is the only cement that will ever hold the world together"
- Woodrow Wilson
"It is not so much our friends' help that helps us as the confident knowledge that they will help us."
- Epicurus Greek philosopher
To all of you wonderful parents that are raising these AMAZING children-
THANK YOU!!!! Thank you, for teaching them to see past the DIS and see their abilities. Thank you for raising AMAZING young men and women!!! You have given this Mommy an AMAZING gift..... seeing her son form a "true friendship". I can't tell you what a truly wonderful gift that is.