About 11 years ago my mom created a program called Special Buddies at my elementary school. I was in first grade and the purpose of the buddy program was to teach my peers about children with disabilities. She figured she could make a greater impression if such a program began in elementary school. This is when I met my best friend, Cameron. Cameron was in third grade and unlike others who were sometimes afraid of me because I cannot speak and have a severe intellectual and developmental disability, he was very interested to learn more about me.
Cameron and I have basically grown up together. We have been friends throughout elementary school, junior high and high school and he never forgets about me or excludes me. Now, Cameron is away at college but this past weekend he traveled home and took me to my senior homecoming dance. We dressed up, went to the dance where my LIFE Skills teacher met us, and Cameron and I had so much fun. We took pictures, visited with friends and danced. This was my first invitation to a dance with a friend, and it made my mom and dad so very happy to see how much fun I had on that evening. For a moment, I was just like everyone else. I am so lucky to have Cam as my best friend.