Since March is Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month, BrightStone will be sharing a 4-part series each week focusing on family experiences and solutions for their adult living with developmental disabilities.
A Success StoryWe were one of the fortunate families who had a wonderful school experience with Elissa. She loved school and we were blessed to have good, caring teachers who worked with us. But for years we dreaded the time when she could no longer go to school and wondered what we would do. Everybody needs a reason to get up in the morning and a reason to feel good about themselves. But we found there just weren’t many programs out there for those with special needs who were out of school. After Elissa left school we tried a transition/work program. Since both my husband and I work full time, we needed transportation and had to contract with a transportation vendor to get her to and from work. That was a nightmare! The bus came early, late, or not at all more times than not, and we never knew where she was. While the work was not bad, she missed having friends and other activities as Elissa is very social. A job did not seem to be a likely solution either as her skills are limited and transportation would be a problem. We worried about Elissa and her future constantly. As I searched for other alternatives, I found BrightStone. I had heard of the program before and had seen their participants at Special Olympics but did not know much about it. I called and arranged a visit. As soon as I saw BrightStone and met a few of the people, I knew that was where Elissa belonged. The feeling I got there was just exactly what I was looking for. The adults were all busy and happy and I could see Elissa thriving in such a caring atmosphere. I went home and told my husband that I had found the perfect place for Elissa! I completed the paperwork in record time and kept calling and emailing– I probably made a nuisance of myself. Then I took Elissa in to visit for a day. I could see that she enjoyed it and she was very willing to visit a second time – a sure sign that she felt comfortable there. Elissa started at BrightStone in January of 2011 and I cannot put into words what it has meant to our family. We have peace of mind. She is in a wonderful place with caring people all day. The bus is reliable, on time, and the bus drivers are wonderful. Elissa is still learning new things every day and she and takes great pride in her work and her contributions. But, best of all she is happy and has friends at BrightStone. Every night she tells us about her day and she always has a great day. She fits right in and it seems like she has been there forever. I would recommend BrightStone to anyone who is looking for a program for their special needs adult. It is just the most wonderful place with an outstanding staff! There is a good mixture of work, learning, fun and friendship. BrightStone has been such a blessing to us and to Elissa. She loves it there and I cannot imagine her being anywhere else. This program has been so good for our entire family; it allows us to go about our daily lives without worrying about Elissa’s day. I don’t know what we would do without it. A big thank you from our family to the wonderful people who make BrightStone possible! From Christie - Elissa's Mom