Adventures with Rio: Helping Others

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Adventures with Rio: Helping Others

Liz Hacker, junior, shares her experiences with handicap accessibility.

Liz Hacker, junior, shares her experiences with handicap accessibility.

Liz Hacker, junior, shares her experiences with handicap accessibility.

Liz Hacker, junior, shares her experiences with handicap accessibility.

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I’m disabled, but how can I help others with disabilities?! This is a question I have asked myself countless times over many years.

I was homeschooled until I went into fourth grade. Before going to school, I had experience with other kids with disabilities, but I would wish I was with my mom most of the time when I interacted with them. I never realized how much I could really help other kids who had more severe disabilities.

Fourth grade was a big awakening as to how much I could help others with their disabilities. It was during that year where I began to attend public school at the Gaenslen School, located in Milwaukee. It was overwhelming at first, but I slowly got used to this new idea.

The bus ride was the experience that really made me grow interested in helping kids . It was not easy, but I learned a lot from it. There was one boy who suffered from severe back pain who cried almost every day on the bus. I helped him by singing to him and that seemed to really help him calm down.

Another experience that really changed my point of view was that I was in a classroom with 27 other students who also had disabilities . This was another realization that the world did not revolve around me. I think being homeschooled sometimes made me think that I was the most important girl with a disability and that I would never help anyone else.

Well, that all  changed once I was in school. The class was kindergarten through eighth grade, so the older students helped the younger students. I loved helping the younger students with their assignments. Also, another way I would help was letting the teachers know when a student needed something that I could not help them with.  

The teachers instilled in the students that just because you have a disability, it doesn’t mean that you cannot help other people with disabilities. I truly believe in that idea now.

Check back next week for a “part 2” of this topic. Also, let me know in the comments below your experience with helping people with disabilities!

The Gaenslen School, where I attended school for the fourth through eighth grade, is located in Milwaukee.

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