R O S I E ’ S J O U R N E Y
Always Laughing, Joking and Smiling!
In 2002, when Jaquelin was 11, I was looking for a program because we were at a point in her development where I felt she was in a holding pattern and not making any progress. In addition to communication and self care, we had some behavioral issues arise and I felt I could be stifling her ability to move forward by not looking for other opportunities. Within the first few months of being at Hope House, Jaquelin exceeded in areas in which I was afraid she had reached her capacity. With her behavior issues being monitored, we could take a look at what might be causing them. A plan was put into place to decrease her outbursts. Because of Jaquelin's sensory issues, she will always have behavioral challenges, but I am really happy with the success and progress Jaquelin has made at Hope House.
Wanda Magee, Administrator at Hope House, said that all of the staff adore Jaque as well. “She’s just a breath of fresh air, energetic, adventurous and curious,” said Wanda.
“It’s so amazing,” remarked Mary Watson, Assistant Executive Director, “when she first came to live at Hope House she rarely spoke, was anti-social and isolated herself. You would never know she was the same person. So from not talking much at all to being able to call everyone by name and sing the Ariel theme song so beautifully…it’s just such a transformation. We are so proud of her.”
EVERYDAY LITTLE THINGS
It's the everyday little things -- learning how to take turns at tossing a ball, brushing teeth, buying a snack, washing hands, mixing chocolate milk or looking both ways when crossing the street -- that are some of the BIG things that the children and adults at Hope House for the Multiple-Handicapped practice every day. To achieve these goals, Ookie, Administrator at Hope House's cedar Home explains, "It's a process and our well-rained staff practice with clients every day. And yes, there are some good days, some bad, and in the end, we know that learning is what matters and consistency is the key."
She recalls a recent example. "We frequent a corner market every Saturday so that we can teach out clients how to pa for items. Last month, Nathan tried to leave the store without paying. Each staff member is taught to use positive techniques to correct this type of behavior. In this case body positioning as used to ensure that Nathan got to the cashier to pay." Additionally, Ookie remarked that store employees, who know Nathan, "have become a part of his visits and always offer friendly waves and smiles--especially helpful on bad days!"
Training sessions, such as these, with our well-rained staff, are meant to promote independence. They are practiced over and over and over again and the resident is verbally praised for their success. "The act of Nathan going to the store now has become more than teaching life skills bub he is making meaningful connections along the way. We know that with more opportunities for practice, Nathan and other clients like him, learn to become filly able to participate in the community where they live."
Nathan's mom, Priscilla, agrees, and remarked, "the kind, patient and well-trained staff at Cedar House work every day to help Nathan develop the skills to participate in the community."