01 Feb Sally’s Big Dreams*
Sally lived with her bachelor uncle and grandmother for ten years. Even though Sally has been diagnosed with “pervasive developmental disabilities,” Sally was a very good caregiver for her grandmother. When Sally’s grandmother passed away, she wanted a new living environment.
Her family agreed. She completed a new psychological evaluation and was diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder. That made sense to her because she liked the certainty of “concrete thinking” or “black-and-white thinking.”
She was shocked when the family placed her in a group home. She wanted her independence after so many years under her uncle’s control. It was time, and Sally wanted an apartment of her own! Her family was fearful that she was too vulnerable to live in the larger community of Dallas.
Disappointed, Sally made the best of her situation. She never let anyone forget that she had bigger goals and higher aspirations. One of the employees became an advocate for Sally and made her aware of a Life Skills Class. If she were successful, it would open doors for Apartment Living.
In the Life Skills Class, Sally blossomed! She mastered using all the appliances in the apartment. She learned to budget her own money, grocery shop, and cook simple and nutritious meals. Building on her organizational skills, Sally learned how to schedule her transportation to work, medical appointments, and other executive functioning skills.
Dreams began to come true for Sally! She found a lovely apartment in a secure building. Then she completed a job skills course. She applied for a “housekeeping job,” and the interview went very well. Receiving her first paycheck was an exciting event. She budgeted her money well and started a savings account.
There was one more big Dream, Going on vacation! After a year of hard work, she joined a small vacation group for a “Beach Holiday” in San Diego!
If you know someone who is on the ASD and has Big Dreams call us at Sedona Lago Gardens. We know how to make dreams come true! We call our program “Pathways to Independence.” Our Life Coaching model has a 1-5 Coach to Student ratio. Each person’s goals and aspirations are important to us. So we focus on strengths and abilities and improving skills in Executive Functioning, Social Awareness, Careers – Life in the Workplace, and Daily Living.
-Gary Wagner, Founder and President of Sedona Lago Gardens.
* This is a true story, the young woman’s name was changed to protect her privacy under HIPPA, as was her hometown. I observed her journey, as President of Rainbow Acres for over 26 years.