Hey blog world! Friendship is a very powerful thing. Especially for people like myself with a special need. We are outcast by many in the world because of our difference. It makes a world of difference when one person steps up and befriends us. I’m very happy to say that I’m a member of the MUN (Memorial University of Newfoundland) chapter of Best Buddies , a non profit organization that pairs students with individuals with special needs and they form a friendship.
Because of my Aspergers I’m not accepted by many of my neurotypical peers and have been bullied since literally day 1 of Kindergarten. I’ve been insulted, exempt and harassed. It makes me feel terrible when I’m treated that way. If it weren’t for Best Buddies, people with special needs would be at home, not wanting to go out for fear of being bullied and I’m certain there would be a decrease in their overall happiness.
I’m very thankful for Best Buddies. It means a lot to have a friend that looks past my differences and difficulties who I can be myself around, hang out with and talk to. My peer buddy, Alison is a very enthusiastic person who is fun to be around. I love spending time with her! We were paired up with each other two years ago at a Halloween party thrown by Best Buddies. She was Little Red Riding Hood and I was Eponine from “Les Miserables”. When the Best Buddies head introduced us and we began talking and telling each other about ourselves I thought we were a match made in heaven! We had a lot in common. I couldn’t wait to start hanging out with her!
Before Best Buddies I spent the majority of my time on the computer by myself. Now that I’m paired up with Allison we try and get out as much as we can. I really enjoy going out every now and then and doing something fun with her. We’ve gone to the movies, we’ve been to concerts together and we go out for lunch sometimes. I’ve even given Allison some new experiences (or as my Mom says I’ve “culturalized” her.) I’m very passionate about musical theater. It’s one of my favorite things (no pun intended). Last summer we saw An Evening with Andrew Lloyd Webber at the Arts and Culture Center and “Monty Python Live (Mostly)” at Cineplex. Before she started hanging out with me she’d never heard of Monty Python or Andrew Lloyd Webber! I was very glad that she was open to going to these performances with me and experiencing something new!
Allison is a very good listener. We have lengthy Facebook conversations a lot. I’m glad that when I need someone to talk to she’s there. She’s very encouraging and cheers me up when I’m down. Also she doesn’t mind that I sometimes go on and on about my favorite topics. When I talk about Spirit of Newfoundland for example I can go on for hours! A lot of people get bored and/or stop listening but not Allison.
Having a Best Buddy has bettered my life as I’m sure it has the lives of all the other Buddies and Peer Buddies in the program. It’s a very worthwhile program that I hope continues to operate for years to come. Everybody needs a buddy and with the help of Best Buddies I know that someday soon everyone will have one! For more information on Best Buddies click here