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Working with Special Needs Students

            My freshman year of high school I volunteered at a church for a program called AWANA. AWANA was for kids all ages, but I volunteered in the nursery with kids up to age 3. On my first day, I played with a little girl who had many different disabilities. She had spiña bifida, cerebral palsy, speech problems, vision problems and many other things that affected her growth. ¬†She was born to a teen mom so her grandmother took care of her and brought her to church every Sunday to play in the nursery. She was age one when I met her and was really tiny and had a hard time crawling. She had a few surgeries before I knew her so she didn't have much hair and had a lot of big scars. The other kids in the nursery noticed that she was a little different and didn't want to play with her, so I played with her every Sunday and watched her grow. I never saw her cry or get upset and she always had a big smile!.
             One day she came into AWANA with a walker. She was two at this time and she had a really hard time trying to figure out how to walk in the walker. She hated it more than anything and would never want to be in it. I helped her practice using the walker every time I saw her. Then she finally realized that it was allowing her do something that she had never been able to do before; it was helping her walk like the other kids. After about a few months getting used to the walker, she was walking everywhere in it. Watching her struggle with many different things and watching her grow for almost two years helped me realize that I wanted to do something in special needs when I grew up. .
             Last summer, I was at a neighborhood concert with my family and there were two adults, a boy and a girl, with downs syndrome. They were a part of a special need home that brought them to fun events. They started to dance by all their friends, and slowly moved out and then they were dancing together in front of everyone.

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