April 07, 2014 | North America: Virginia

Better Ball

By Andrea Wilson

I have a child with special needs, but it's been years since I did something for Special Olympics, and being in the audience at a basketball game didn't seem like much effort, so I went. I was very surprised at what I saw, and not just that I saw a basketball game played like any other high school basketball game. But I didn't see any parents yelling at each other or yelling at kids, any parents drunk, any coaches yelling at kids, any coaches yelling at referees, any fighting or littering. I saw one player with an arm disabled behind him shoot hoops with the other arm. I saw a tiny girl cheerleading squad with girls with special needs doing cheers just fine. And I had some players come over to say hello to me, a stranger and audience member. So when I left all I could think was, "My God. Our games are more normal than the normal people's."

About Andrea Wilson: I am a mother of five, including one special needs teen girl, an ex- teacher of English, quilter, contributer to DressAGirlAround the World & member of the Arc
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