girl and dogFew things give more hope and build more optimism for a child than finding positive role models who have surmounted the same challenges with which that child is also challenged. As children reach teenager-hood, they can often look back and see what has helped them and use that experience to help others. What’s more, the feeling of seeing one can make a difference is fuel for one’s own future. Here are a few examples of challenged kids giving back. See if your child might be up for choosing one, or for fashioning his or her own.

  • Teens who have triumphed over learning disabilities are some of the best tutors for smaller children with those same disabilities.
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder kids are sometimes the best mothers’ helpers and babysitters in times of need.
  • Animal shelters and therapeutic programs are wonderful frameworks in which children who connect well with animals can help out and flourish.
  • With a good, logistical support system, wheelchair bound teens can be great day trip guides for younger kids who want to be able to hang out just like the big kids.

reading helpIn short, the best everyday heroes for kids facing difficulties are those who have found ways to succeed with those same difficulties. The same organizations that have helped your teen and your family up until now might be the perfect place to start.

The volunteer gets at least as much back as he or she has given and comes out knowing that he or she can absolutely make a tremendous difference in the world… maybe even more so because of challenges faced.

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