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Abigail Belyea

Staff Writer

Imagine being recognized for your disabilities rather than your abilities. Imagine walking into school every morning, terrified that people will stare uncomprehendingly. Or maybe they’ll just ignore you. You’re not someone they want to talk to. You’re different.

For decades, this was how children with special needs were treated. Often, they were locked away in institutions and kept separate from society because of their differences and “shortcomings.” Unfortunately, there are still people today who believe that children with special needs should be institutionalized, people who fail to demonstrate empathy and compassion for other human beings, people who fail to see that these children are humans, just like everyone else. They feel the same shame when made fun of, the same hurt when discriminated against.

However, they also feel the same joy when recognized for their abilities rather than their disabilities. This is the goal of the Special Olympics: to show children with special needs that they are not defined by their disabilities; rather, they are defined by their abilities, by their strength and perseverance in the face of challenge.

Friday, April 4th, Medway High School hosted a Special Olympics for children with disabilities in the towns of Holliston, Medway, Ashland, Millis, and Medfield. The children spent the day at Medway High School, playing different soccer activities and being recognized for their achievements.

Friday, March 28th, certain advisories watched  the children play soccer in the gym, cheering them on and showing their support. Other advisories made posters for each individual athlete, so they could show their support as the athletes left for “The Games.”

These advisories allowed the children participating in the Special Olympics to truly feel what it’s like to be an integrated part of the community. They are showing the children that people do support them; people appreciate them and all they have achieved.

Friday, April 4th, these children with disabilities realized how much they mean to our community. Everyone deserves a chance to feel worth it. The Special Olympics provide that chance.

 

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