Bullying and unkind words are on the menu everyday for students with disabilities. The words wound as much as the fists, and they also injure parents who are helpless to stop the source. Many parents report bullying to school officials who cannot be present for every incident, but who try to stop it. The bullying then becomes more subtle, often retreating to playgrounds and sidewalks where school officials are powerless.
Students who attend ARC, Circle of Friends, Joy programs and Friendship activities find a haven where love is spoken and people respect each other. These organizations become like caring families for students and parents.
If you have a heart for persons with any kind of special need, try volunteering some time with these organizations. Orientation will be provided, and you will soon be “hooked on helping.” Johns Hopkins University recently released findings on research that proved what they call “helpers high” that releases endorphins in the body that are not only good for your body but make you feel a good high after community service. Surprisingly, the high persists when you talk about it or remember it. Take note that volunteering with students with disabilities can be good for you. It’s a gift exchange. You help them; they help you.