Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Parent to Parent: Friendship Circle
Parents of special needs kids know how important it is for their kids to socialize, but it can be hard, especially for those who don't have language skills, but as Seven's Lynn Martinez tells us in tonight's Parent to Parent, a special circle of kids in South Miami are working to make a difference.
WSVN -- Rain or shine, Brent Saltzman loves to shoot hoops with his buddy Daniel, and Miriam and Leah wouldn't miss a visit with their 4-year-old friend Matthew.
It's all part of a program called The Friendship Circle at the Chabad Center of Kendall.
Nechama Harlig: "We realize that parents could buy their children everything. They can give them therapy, but they can't buy them friendship. That's priceless."
Miriam and Leah work as a team and make home visits.
Miriam Singer: "We just love coming here. We love helping him out. We love to see him progress."
They say working with Matthew brings out their best.
Leah Singer: "A lot of teenagers these days it's about Facebook. It's about the parties and I think that's how I was too, but by becoming more familiar with Matthew, I realized just how much the little things can help because I really think we've made a difference with him."
Brent says he's supposed to help his friend Daniel, but says the boy is teaching him.
Brent Saltzman: "You see things from a whole other perspective. It's like the best thing in the world."
Dr. Val says getting teens involved in programs like this gives them an important life perspective.
Dr. Val: "It gives you opportunities to go outside your comfort zone. You have to find a common place to join with these kids and isn't that what life is, it's all negotiation."
And for the kids recieving help, the visits are life changing.
Michelle Kaplan: "It's helped because Matthew just absolutely enjoys them. The smile he just lights up when he sees them, so many different ways."
Shared experiences enriching both sides of the circle of friends for life.
Lynn Martinez: "The Friendship Circle is hosting its fundraising "Walk For Friendship" this Sunday, March 14th."
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Dr. Valerie Goode
The Friendship Circle Miami