This week, D&S teamed up with the Coalition of Texans with Disabilities to promote the positive impact that group homes can have on the lives of individuals with intellectual disabilities. D&S was honored to be featured as a guest blogger on the COTD blog. In our story we profiled a young woman who came to us as a frustrated 14 year old. She is now thriving and is well on her way to independent living! Read on for an amazing story of determination and motivation!
Allison has been a member of the D&S Community Services family since 2007 when she became a group- home resident in our Abilene, TX program. She came to us at the young age of 14 already frustrated by the “system”. The staff at D&S welcomed her with open arms and now thinks of her as family. What has followed over the past several years has been truly breathtaking to witness. Allison has experienced many milestones with D&S. While in the group home setting, she completed middle school and then went on to graduate high school. She went on first dates, learned to manage her money, and obtained her driver’s license. She also learned many valuable life lessons like who and how to trust. She gained knowledge through social and community interactions, and became increasingly independent. Through thick and thin, the D&S staff in Abilene has supported Allison, motivated her to be herself, and taught her to be proud of her accomplishments.
Throughout her entire journey, each decision has been reached by unfailingly putting the focus on what’s best for Allison. Through every concern, special feat, and “Aha” moment, Allison’s D&S team has been there to help and guide her. At D&S, we use the Person Centered approach, which means that we make sure to figure out what is best for the person. This way of thinking consistently brings innovation and creativity to enhance and enrich quality of life. It’s at the very center of why Allison’s journey has been so successful.
Allison has now transitioned into a Companion Care setting (previously known as Foster Care). She hopes to one day move into an apartment of her own, and is using the Companion Care setting as the next step toward her goal. Through the group home setting to companion care, D&S has been cheering for Allison and is committed to serving her every step of the way. Allison is thriving in her current living arrangement. Her Companion Care Provider, Nancy, is so excited to be a stepping stone in Allison’s journey to independence. In fact, just the other day, Nancy stated that watching Allison grow into the young woman she is today has been just as rewarding for her as it’s been for Allison. At D&S, we view this as the ultimate goal of the Person Centered Approach – creating a nurturing and supportive environment that turns a frustrated 14 year old girl in a group home into a thriving young woman living independently. Allison’s journey combined with the Person Centered Approach utilized here at D&S has liberated Allison. She is continuing to amaze us as she blossoms into a beautiful young lady. She is now working hard at her job, and learning more and more about life… just like the rest of us.