Stories of Impact
Todd, who is wheelchair bound, went on a trip with his brother to Colorado. This is one of the first trips that they have taken together as adults. Typically, Todd's brother only takes him overnight and staff was a little concerned that his brother may not be prepared for all the care Todd was going to need. No worry was necessary! They were gone for a week and Todd came back happy and excited about the trip. He got to see the mountains and visited relatives at a graduation event. He seemed to be most excited that "he got to pet a wolf!"
Mike has been a member with Mainstream for many years and has worked with long-time employee Barb. Mike has always been very quiet and shy. He is sweet and doesn't hesitate to give a smile to everyone he meets. Barb shared that recently Mike has become more confident, willing to talk to others and able to tell his landlord and others what he needs.
Center has recently gone through some structural changes as we no longer have the sensory program. The team decided to use that space for dayhab services, splitting the main dayhab group into two groups. In making this decision, they considered member needs and behavioral supports. In the last few months, Thomas has been increasingly agitated, vocalizing loudly, thrashing in his wheelchair, kicking/knocking down chairs, and biting the inside of his mouth causing him to bleed. Thomas has a communication device and can use it to communicate in complete sentences. Staff and his guardians have worked with him to try to figure out Thomas' stresses and or triggers. Despite behavioral support plans and medication interventions, Thomas was still struggling to participate fully in programming without displaying high levels of agitation. With the program changes, the team decided to see if a smaller, quieter area would help Thomas. At the end of the first day, when asked how his day went, he typed on his Accent (communication device), "Schedule change, different, quiet. Thank you thank you thank you". He also shared that this was a place where he would want to come each day. Since this change, Thomas has not displayed any agitation.
We have some amazing staff and recently another example came to light when camp was cancelled due to staffing shortages. The staff at the Story City house immediately recognized the importance of turning this disappointment into an opportunity. They brainstormed fun things for the men to do, and succeeded by planning a trip to Hickory Grove park, a petting zoo, lunch outings and some projects at their house to make up for the cancelled camp.