by Michael Eisman,

Tiferet Bet Israel

Something that I have learned about people with disabilities is…that patience is very important. In listening to the different speakers that we have had the opportunity to learn from this year, is that people with disabilities do not always realize they might be doing something that is not appropriate in the view of today’s society. Trying to explain the difference of what may be socially acceptable and ask the child to stop doing something often takes time. Patience is key to ensure a positive relationship, as a caregiver, often you may need to repeat yourself or show someone with disability what is acceptable, such as a “soft touch of the hand or arm” versus punching of someone’s arm when they want to say “hello” or “try to get someone’s attention” if they have verbal communication disabilities.

I am glad I had the opportunity to work with other teens and share experiences with them. I have volunteered through TAP and in my community working with children that are eight and nine years old. Children are unique whether or not they have a disability. All children should be treated equally and with respect. I would recommend this program to other teens as a great learning opportunity.