Transitioning from Home
For most of her life, Dana has lived with her family. Aging and looking for a possible alternative to her staying at home, Dana’s mom began exploring the possibility of a group home for her daughter. She had scheduled visits to a group home of Kreider and even stayed overnight. Even though Dana has attended Day Training program of Kreider Services for 21 years, the transition into a community living home is as difficult for the adult child as it is for the family. Dana is learning new skills – cooking, laundry and shopping for instance – while her mom is coping with not having her at home every day. Helping Dana with her new transition into community living is having familiar faces in her new group home including a close friend that she now will be living with.
Striving for Independence
A year ago, she was in a nursing home with limited opportunities for independence. That all changed when Maria became a client of Kreider and began attending the Day Services program. During her short time in Day Services, Maria has learned three new jobs, each of which have 3 or 4 steps to understand. “Within an hour of being introduced to a new job,” staff explain “she will know how to do the entire job. One of those jobs – a switch for a trimmer – requires concentration and fine motor skills. Maria mastered that task.” In addition to work, Maria is thriving in joining different social groups. She is singing in Kreider’s choir and has also joined the local Kiwanis Aktion Club. Her family is amazed at her progress, as is her staff. “She is getting comfortable in this setting and as a result we are seeing her personality come out. She’s even directing other client workers. — ” Asked recently what was keeping her back, she responded quickly and straightforward that ‘darn walker.’ Given her determination and with help from physical therapy, that may soon be left in the dust as Maria moves forward.
Keeps Rolling Along
Rolling along like the wheels on his bicycle, Dana is continuing his way down the path to independence and living on his own. Although a staff member stops by to check on him and assist when needed, Dana is living on his own in an apartment that he moved into last October. He’s responsible, like many of us, for deciding on what he’s going to have for dinner, cleaning his apartment, taking his medicine and finding a ride to work when snow keeps him from riding his bike. During the past year Dana, has checked several major accomplishments off his list. In addition to moving out on his own, Dana has realized full time employment – he’s working in a local kitchen five days a week – and passed his driver’s license exam! He is a work in progress and he’s not done yet. Dana is working to become his own guardian so he can get his driver’s license. He’s volunteering in the community and has joined the Kiwanis Aktion Club.
Its doors swung open for the first time on March 25, 2015, as Florissa went from a concept to reality as a collaborative entity to help children with developmental, behavioral, social and emotional needs here in northwest Illinois. Since that time, steps of progress have been made by children, while their families have taken advantage of art, music, yoga therapies, and summer camps, in addition to the regular service offerings.
Parents have embraced Florissa as witnessed by their comments:
“The art and music sessions gave my son a sense of belonging.”
“It was good that there are actual classes at Florissa rather than just receiving handouts.”
“The Friendship groups have helped my daughter with many aspects of how to make and sustain friendships. She couldn’t wait to attend each week.”
“My daughter loved coming to the SibShop group (an offering for siblings of people with disabilities). She learned how to deal with her special brother. She is much more compassionate with him and now wants to help him in all areas.”