Over the summer, my son joined a Gardening Project at his school. Well, to be fair, I told him he had to do it. To earn viewing time on IMDB or YouTube or FB or whatever. I’m lucky that he’s a pretty compliant kid. Anyway, he would moan about it beforehand, but after the early morning Saturday sessions he always said, “That was fun … or … I got some good exercise … or … I think I did something good today!” Overall I know he was glad to be part of the volunteer project—for more than one reason.   Image

Another activity I made him do over the summer was to draft his first resume. When he got to the VOLUNTEER EXPERIENCE part, he got all frustrated and huffy. “I don’t have anything to put here!” He started pacing as his anxiety levels rose.

So I calmly mentioned a few things. “Well, what about the support group?” [The Orange County Asperger’s Support Group – he’s a member, has run fundraisers and hosted activities for it.] “What about the film festival?” [He was a volunteer at the Newport Beach Film Festival in April.] And then he shouted out, “And the garden group with Ms. Bernal!” His sour mood turned triumphant. “Mom,” he proclaimed authoritatively, “No time to chat. I’ve got a resume to finish!”

What a character.  


  1. Volunteering instills confidence and develops social skills. Our son was fortunate to find his niche at the Ocean Institute of Dana Point. As Tide Pool Docent he gets to enjoy all the creatures both on land and in the sea.

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