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A Place to Belong

Belonging is a wonderful sort of emotion. This feeling is only made more amazing if someone with special needs can experience it. That feeling for them is rare.

Our son Mitchell, has been riding at EquiCenter for many years but he recently participated in something new offered at EquiCenter: Social Squad. Mitch has always felt welcomed in the riding program but this was something new. The first class he attended was a Christmas cookie baking class. This went surprisingly well. Next was a pizza party and movie night, and then a social night for young adults only.

The social night for young adults was a pilot program that was greatly needed. When your teenager turns 18 there are fewer and fewer activities for them to partake in. Six EquiCenter Students attended the first social night. The EquiCenter team had lined up a great bunch of activities. There was ping pong, music, pizza and charades! Charades was a big hit for Mitchell. He loved it. He had so much fun that he wasn't even in a big hurry to get home!

We were the first to arrive at the most recent social night this past winter. Mitchell said, ”Where are MY friends?” This may not seem like a big deal but to a parent of a special needs adult it was so heartwarming! Mitchell called these people “HIS FRIENDS.” He anxiously awaited their arrival. He was elated when they finally walked in. That night they made their own pizzas and played BINGO. What fun!

Not only did Mitchell find new friends, he had found a place where he truly belonged! Thank you EquiCenter for seeing a need and finding a way to fill that need!

-Heidi Vahue (Mitchell's mom)

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