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Ryan’s Good Life

My son is a resident of Delaware living at 203 Hawthorne Lane, Wilmington, Delaware. He has been in Delaware since 2003 when he began working for MBNA in their wonderful program for Persons with DisABILITIES. The center recognized his abilities and with the proper support helped him achieve success at his job. Since then, the Bank of America purchased the facility and little by little has been downsizing the program.
Now Ryan works at Chimes with a placement four days a week working for Papa John’s Pizza with a partner and a job coach. The employment director is seeking full time work for Ryan with a job coach preferably as a greeter at a large store which would be very suited to his abilities. It would be drastic to close down such a facility as Chimes. With the economy producing few to no jobs for the normal population, what would that accomplish for those with DisABILITIES?
The wonderful family that Ryan lives with is made up of three men also with DisABILITIES and in various appropriate assisted jobs. Each of them has their own special room they call their own and the other rooms are family room, dining room, kitchen and two and a half baths and a guest room. One additional room serves as an office for the House Manager and staff. The ARC of Delaware owns and maintains their home; Bankroft NeuroHealth, Inc. manages their home as well as the girl’s home across the street. Staff serves as counselor, friend, organizer, caretaker, and teacher. Parents are welcomed at all times. What a gift it is to see my 36 year old son with Intellectual DisABILITIES living his own life as independently as possible and with all the supports he needs to function as well as he does. How could anyone advocate taking this away from him?
As a rapidly maturing adult past the normal retirement age, I have found myself a widow in need of employment. Fortunately I have my health and a job that affords me residence in a retirement community with enough extra to visit Ryan. The peace of mind that the group home and Ryan’s employment give me is worth the world to me. What would you suggest? Ripping him out of this security he knows? Putting him where? How? With whom? You need to place yourself in my shoes or his. You need to imagine that Ryan is one of your children. You need to realize the system in Delaware is NOT broken. The only thing threatened to break is the hearts of the residents, their parents, the employees of group homes, the employees of centers like Chimes, Management Companies like Bancroft NeuroHealth, Inc. and their employees, The ARC of Delaware and their employees. I pray you come to realize the incredible responsibility weighing on your advocacy.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.familiesspeakingup.com/2012/08/01/ryans-good-life/

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