Service Reflection: Special Olympics
For my service hours, I attended Special Olympics, an event where disabled or mentally ill students and adults compete in a series of sports. I was in charge of a severly autistic teen named Tony, whos life is spent in a group home. I was unable to get much information out of him, as he was barely able to communicate let alone stay in one place. This event was an example of direct service as it was a one-on-one experience that changed my life. Tony was extremely active and I could barely keep track of him. He would move from place to place and wouldn't sit down for long periods of time. I learned a lot from Tony, as he showed me how autism effects other peoples life. Tony, sadly enough, had been hit with the worst autism can deliver, as his ability to communicate was shattered, and his actions tremendously inadequate. It really showed how bad it can be, but also shows the good side of life as I feel lucky not to be in Tony's position. As I said in the last paragraph, Tony showed me the painful aspects of autism. His inability to function in a crowded environment astounded and frightened me, and his incapability to focus and react gave me chills. I feel like Tony deserves better, and I wish I could help him more. As a society, we can do much more for these people. Autism doesn't necessarily need a "cure" for it is a symbol of who they are. What we need to do is try to help them live their lives; if its helping them around their house, showing them the proper behavior, or teaching them new words and ways to react. I still remember one thing from Special Olympics, and that is when I was able to break the impared speech barrier and communicate with him through yes and no's, and when I asked him, "Do you like this event?" and he gave me a thumbs down and said, "No."
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