- Council For Exceptional Children, Hamilton-Wentworth Chapter 289, “Yes I Can” 2013 Awards
My youngest grandson who suffers with mental disabilities won an award. And I say that with pride because despite his struggles, and challenges caused by his disabilities, he was able to forge ahead and do something to benefit his community!
I attended the Award Ceremony with my grandson and his sister who, incidentally, looked beautiful wearing her graduation dress. There were hundreds of attendees at the program, all of whom enjoyed a delicious supper, but not before we watched, mostly on large screens around the banquet hall, students who suffer with mild or intense disabilities receive their awards and hear some very positive and encouraging personal remarks from the speaker. The looks on the children’s faces and the whoops of delight emanating from their families as each child‘s name was called, spoke volumes.
It was a very special evening. Not only because of the happiness experienced by the students, or the pride that was bursting from every caregiver in the room, nor the delicious dinner of pasta and chicken, or the awesome ice-cream dessert accompanied by steaming hot coffee, but rather because of the camaraderie between caregivers and their friends and families, teachers and other staff, and the students themselves. A camaraderie that was shared by mostly strangers who had come together to enjoy the simple pleasure of watching their children who are so often ignored, or even despised, by society receive an award for their achievements no matter how small they appear in the eyes of those who don’t understand mental illness.