I have volunteered and worked with special needs kids for the last three years now. I started just volunteering at Camp L.E.A.P every summer then my senior year in high school I began spending a lot more time with special needs kids in the F.M.D room at my high school. I am majoring in special education teaching, here are a few things that I have learned from working and dealing with special needs children.
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I have learned that when dealing with special needs kids you have to have a lot of patience for even the smallest things. I now have a lot more patience and understanding of things after working with special needs kids. You don’t get as stressed out as easily have you might of have before.
2. Notice the small things in life
I have learned that its not just about the big picture in life that every small thing is beautiful and amazing. As some people may say “stop and smell the flowers” that is how it is like every day working with special needs kids. It is beautiful and every day brings a new smaller challenge to take on.
3. Always think positive
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I have learned that no matter what is going on in my life that everything will be okay. By being around special needs kids I have learned this because they are always happy no matter has happened in their day or their life. They see the world and the day as a wonderful place and always have a smile on their faces no matter what.
4. Stop Comparing yourself to others
I have learned that you can’t always compare yourself to other people because everyone has their own unique talents and personality that make them beautiful just the way that they truly are. I myself struggled with this a lot before I started working with special needs children and learned that it isn’t about what you wear or the way you look it is about the way you treat others around you and knowing that everyone is amazing in their own way through how they act and what they do.
5. Don’t be afraid to be different
Yes, being different can seem like it is a bad thing and that everyone looks down on that especially in high school but truth is that everyone is different no one is exactly the same, if everyone were the same then the world wouldn’t be as beautiful of a place as it is right now, it would be very boring. Working with special needs kids I have learned that it is fun to be different and to be who you truly are because that you is so much better than the you that you are pretending to be.
6. Better word choices
Using the words such as: stupid, retard, or idiot. I hate using them or hearing someone I know use those words because they are very hurtful toward others. I know that sometimes teenagers do use these words toward their friends but they don’t understand how hurtful it could be toward others. Which is why I don’t use these words or let others around me use these words.
7. Never give up on anything
Never giving up is a huge thing that I have learned. I have watched some of the kids that I’ve volunteered with for three years grow up and learn so many new things that lots of time we take advantage of doing. They accomplish so many things because they work so much harder than everyone else, and never give up on anything that they want to do. I am so glad I learned this lesson because it has helped me so much through graduation and through my first year of college.
8. Everyone has something amazing to offer this crazy world
I have learned that no one is the same and that no matter what you end up doing in life you can all help someone in so many amazing ways and make this world a better place than it already is.
I love and appreciate all the amazing and wonderful special needs kids I have works with and got to meet in the past three years, I love seeing each and every one of you grow into the wonderful people you guys are becoming. I have learned so many things from working with everyone that it is unbelievable. You guys have made my life amazing and so much better. Thank you all so much.