“Best Buddies opened doors for my son”: Christine Neves

When Ms. Sullivan, Brandon’s teacher, first told me about the Best Buddies program, I was so excited to know that such a wonderful program existed. Little did I realize the great experience and the many doors of opportunity this program would open up for Brandon, my son.

The program has encouraged friendship with students in the school that otherwise would most likely not have occurred. It has heightened awareness and understanding of those with special needs. It has broken down barriers created by fear and ignorance of those with intellectual disabilities.

Being a part of Best Buddies has been such a positive and enriching experience for Brandon. He has had so much fun going on different field trips, including a Raptors game, lunch outings and attending the unforgettable fourth annual Best Buddies event sponsored by Chapters/Indigo at Yorkdale where Brandon won the dance competition and got a signed Jersey from “Calderon”. It’s been a great learning experience for all participants (teachers and parents alike). It has boosted Brandon’s confidence and trust, and given him a sense of belonging beyond the classroom.

Best Buddies has provided our son with the same rights and opportunities enjoyed by other youths without disabilities. It’s a great opportunity for schools and agencies in the community to take the lead in promoting inclusion and heightening awareness of those with intellectual disabilities.

The Best Buddies program has given us, the parents of a child with special needs, the hope for a future for our son where the social barriers will be broken down and where our son will receive the acceptance of others, the understanding and awareness of his abilities, and the right to equal opportunities in his life. It’s a great program that deserves recognition and support!

Thank you Best Buddies for making this program available to Brandon and a special thank you for the hard work and dedication of his teacher, Ms. Sullivan, in promoting and implementing this program in the school. Her positive outlook and setting of high expectations, coupled with her love and encouragement, has equipped the students in the class to reach their maximum potential. She is always going beyond the “call of duty” to pull resources and opportunities for “her kids”. Her hard work and dedication will quite often mean that she is working on her breaks, late into the evening and on weekends. She truly deserves to be praised and honoured for her outstanding example as a unique and special educator!

Sincerely,

Christine Neves

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