As of 2019, we no longer offer the Exceptional Peers Program mentioned below. But we did for many years. We made 74 matches between Exceptional Children and their 'typically developing' peers, for the purpose of building friendships. One of our goals was to enlist a group of "typical peers" who were willing to join us in our efforts of better integration. We are very happy to have met this goal and very happy that some very special and enduring relationships developed. A HUGE thanks to all the volunteers who participated.
Here's what one volunteer and the parent of one participant had to say...
"Words can't describe how much I love my Zoe! She has touched my heart in a way no one else ever could", Sarah, Exceptional Peer
"We've been extremely blessed with our Exceptional Peers in the past. His last one... is FAMILY to us... Your program has been absolutely wonderful for Cody.", Cody's Mom
Exceptional Peers Program
Building relationships between our children with special needs and their "typical" peers is one of our goals as "Exceptional Moms". By integrating our children more often into the community at large, we help build a greater sense of belonging for our children. But we also believe this integration plays a tremendously positive role in impacting our greater community in terms of awareness, empathy, understanding, patience and acceptance.
Parents of children with special needs often watch as other children receive invitations to play dates and birthday parties, while their own child receives none. They watch children on playgrounds engaged in playful behavior with one another, while their own child wanders alone. They see the great divide that exists in our own Lake Norman community.
All children struggle to find their place. All children struggle to fit in. So we believe that by fostering these special relationships, all will benefit, and that parents of both "typical" and "atypical" children will witness an improvement in confidence and self-esteem in their children.
Our children have a tremendous amount to offer and as parents we are in awe of what our children teach us every day. They carry within them the ability to impact the lives of all who take the time to know them.
So, one of our goals was to enlist a group of "typical peers" who are willing to join us in our efforts of better integration.