The City of Gig Harbor, Wash., is the region one winner of the Together We Play™ essay contest. Their essay explains their inspiration behind submitting an essay–providing a place where all of their children can play together. Read the excerpt below to truly understand what inspired these moms.
“Our children are our inspiration. We are a group of mothers who have bonded together over the past 10 years–working hard to make our community a better place for our special needs children and for those to come in the future. In this case, we are members of the ‘Committee for an Inclusive Playground in the City of Gig Harbor.’ Each of us has a unique story–traumatic and often sad–and our children have many different diagnoses including muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy, autism, developmental delays, chromosome abnormalities and epilepsy. Yet, each family also has a typically developing child, and that has inspired us to create an inclusive playground.”
I was reading an article from the Parkville-Overlea Patch yesterday, and I was struck by the emotion this mom experienced when her children, one of which is on the spectrum, were asked to play upon entering the playground.
“For the first time that I can remember, Sammy, a 7-year old, was overtly invited to join a group, and he interacted with ease and confidence. The other kids guided him with an intuition I’d never seen, and it was the best playground experience I think he (and I) ever had.”
The author’s boys had been invited by a couple of other kids to play. When the author expressed gratitude to their supervisor, she learned that this woman was their mother, a special education assistant, and she regularly talks to her kids about tolerance. They discuss acceptance of all–ages, shapes, colors, sizes and abilities.
Check out the full article here, and let us know what you’re doing to help break down social barriers–on the playground, in school or wherever.