Celebrating Friendship – Addy & Morgan

Addy’s anxiety is overwhelming.

The boom of thunder or the wail of an ambulance will bring Addy to tears or send her hiding. She struggles to understand other people’s emotions, making it difficult for her to make friends.

Her anxiety is so profound just last year Addy needed to leave her school to instead be educated at home, a difficult decision for her working parents.

All of this left Addy with low self-esteem and self-confidence.

Addy’s parents learned about Compeer from a friend, and along with her medical professionals decided that it was an opportunity worth exploring.

Compeer had just the friend for Addy. Morgan was drawn to Addy’s spunk and the two hit it off from the first time they met.

“She is a very special and kind young girl with one of the biggest hearts of anyone I know.”

Morgan and Addy spend time together at the park or skating. But their time together is more than just hanging out. When Morgan arrives at her home to spend time together, Addy can be reluctant to go as she wrapped up in a game or other activity. Morgan understands her opportunity to be a role model and to help teach Addy how to be kind and respectful to one another. While she may have been enjoying something else when Morgan arrived, it’s important to honor commitments to one another including the promise to meet at a certain time and spend time together.

They also like to eat tacos. A lot of tacos. By eating out together Morgan has been able to encourage Addy to speak up for herself and interact comfortably with strangers by ordering her own meal and speaking with the wait staff.

While they having fun together, Addy is growing.

But her journey isn’t over. Even after ten months together Addy needs Morgan’s gentle nudge.

In December the Compeer Youth Program was taking a field trip together to see the “Festival of Lights” at the Hamburg Fairgrounds. Addy was excited to go, something she had wanted to do but was too far of a drive for her family. But when she arrived at Compeer and saw the van they would be traveling in with other Compeer friends, she immediately began to worry.

Would she get motion sick on the ride?

She’d never been so far away from her parents.

What exactly were they going to do?

It was too much! Addy was ready to go home.

But Morgan saw this challenge as an opportunity to help Addy grow. Keeping calm and understanding Addy’s concerns, Morgan carefully talked through the step-by-step itinerary of the trip. They would be together on the ride, and together with their new friends they would sing carols and enjoy the lights as they drive through the fairgrounds.

Because of Morgan gently challenging her, Addy was able to settle in and become comfortable with the field trip as planned. Together they experienced a magical night.

“I have seen Addy’s confidence grow…” Addy’s mom shared.

Thanks to Morgan’s friendship, and her training and encouragement from Compeer, Addy has become comfortable enough to return to a traditional school setting.