An autistic young man from Monmouth County who knows how awful it is to excluded from the cliques at school when you have a disability now wants to make sure that all tweens, teens and young adults have a buddy who supports them.

Tim Rohrer is a shining example of turning adversity into good. He suffered tremendously as a kid who wasn't accepted by his peers and always felt left out, lonely, and sad..

He managed to get through all of that and has gone on to become an advocate for all kids with special needs so that schools, teachers, and (hopefully) students come to realize the harm that is done when you ignore someone in school just because they are different from you.

Now Tim is on a mission: He has created a Facebook page to try and get adults and teens who are non-disabled/non-autistic paired  with a tween, teen or adult who has a disability so that they can become virtual friends ( 'penpals', if you will.) The goal is to have the special-needs person have someone with whom they can exchange messages and feel like they have a buddy they can count on who will accept them, care about them, and not judge them.

Here's some of what Tim says on his new Facebook page 5Help Adopt-A-Buddy:

"I grew up with autism and was socially excluded by my peers throughout school especially in high school. It was so painful and caused so much sadness, anxiety, and anger in my life tha I decided to take action.

I have had a vision for an adopt-a-buddy program for a long while now and am finally ready to launch it with help from 5Help Foundation. Everyone deserves a bright light in their life to make them feel worthy. I was fortunate to find my bright light within a few programs I joined and those people truly picked me up and made me feel like life was worth living.

It's time for me to give back with my Adopt-A-Buddy Program. This program will be virtual to start. I am looking to find individuals with disabilities that want to be matched with a buddy who can brighten up their day with letters, texts, cards, etc. So if you want to be a buddy, or if you need a buddy, please join this group. I know that, without that bright light I found in my life, I wouldn't be the person I am today."

To apply to be a part of the Adopt-a-Buddy Program (either as someone who wants to help or as someone who needs a buddy) email: 5helpteam2@gmail.com and you will be sent a google form to be matched.

Tim and 5Help have been teaming up for several good causes. Millstone teens Drew and Heather Paglia, ages 16 and 13, created the 5Help non-profit Foundation, where everyone's $5 can lead to big change and help for those who need it. They were featured on national TV, radio, and in numerous publications for their effort and mission to help others while trying to engage other kids, teens and young adults to become part of the solution and their 5Help Team movement. They quickly branched out to helping numerous areas of need and support with their 5-dollar challenges to make a difference and to date have raised thousands of dollars to help others.

Tim Rohrer has written a guide called How To Be A Good Influence To People With Disabilities. For info on this and all of the other amazing things that Tim Rohrer, who has created Tips4Inclusion, has done in our community and beyond, CLICK HERE.

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