This is a blog post that was written by one of our Peer Buddy volunteers here at F.A.C.T.
F.A.C.T. is a non-profit organization in Tidewater. This organization holds dozens of fundraisers and activities for autistic children in our area. Some of the activities are bowling leagues, scavenger hunts, spring, summer and winter camps, bike camp, an adult party to raise money and many more. This organization does wonderful things for autistic children. Any one of the children that participates in any of these activities usually leaves saying “Mom, when can we go back?” The camp is a week long program and every day the autistic children go swimming and go somewhere else in the community. This helps them to build up their social skills and make new friends with their counselor and junior. This helps a lot because most of these kids have to be in a special ed or a secluded classroom with no regular kids like you and me. Many of these kids do stuff like run away, bite, scratch and kick sometimes. It is not because they hate you or want to hurt someone it is because they do not understand. They do not know any better. Some of these kids may never be like you and me but in the long run this camp helps them so much in ways we may never understand.
The reason why I keep coming back each and every summer to this same camp is because of my brother. My brother has Asperger’s Syndrome (a form of autism). He was diagnosed at the age of 3…the year I was born. My brother is one of the lucky ones out there with autism because I have seen children with much worse cases then my brother. I hope that all my efforts towards these children while they are young will help them in the long run. What I mean is I hopefully could teach them what they need to now to succeed in life. The only reason why I even want to help all of these kids is because of my brother. He has had a huge impact on my life. I hope I can keep going to this camp to help make a difference in all of these children’s lives’ love my brother. I hope he keeps influencing people’s lives.
One of the kids I’ve been a peer buddy for is Tommy. Tommy is special to me. Every summer I want to be with him. I don’t know why something just clicks when I am with him. He is another reason why I come back to camp each summer. He may not be the best behaving kid. That is ok though because I enjoy a challenge. He is very different from the rest. Something about him makes me want to love him so much. Tommy has impacted my life very much, I hope I did the same and he feels the same way. Tommy is so amazing I never want him to change. Tommy is a great kid I hope he stays that way.