Thursday, March 11, 2010

Another Source of Support

Each morning when I get up, I turn on the radio in the bathroom to the all news station and get my fix of what’s going on in the world, what the weather will be, which of my teams won and which lost. For the past couple of weeks, I have also been hearing an ad for the “Best Buddies Challenge.”

The Best Buddies Challenge is a fund-raising race that benefits the Best Buddies organization, a not-for-profit “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.” Or, as the sign in their office says, “different abilities.” (Please visit

Fortunately for me, Best Buddies has an office close to where I work, and I just stopped by to get further information about their services and the participants. My goal was to see if they had a program that might help my son land a summer job. Even though I walked in without an appointment, the local director spent a good twenty minutes explaining the ins and outs of Best Buddies, how they operate and who they serve. The bottom line is they serve children and adults who are “differently- abled,” providing them with academic support, social connections and employment coaching. And (back to that continuum I wrote about yesterday) there are people served who, like my son, need less support than others.

I had suggested to my son that he look for a summer job while he is home on break next week, and that is the specific help I was looking for when I walked into the Best Buddies office. Since the process of applying for a job can be intimidating and daunting for anyone (neuro-typical or not), Best Buddies might provide a good starting point for his first summer employment as well as a good foundation for job hunting for the rest of his life.

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