Stories of Impact
Taylor recently transitioned successfully to the ACE program from regular day hab. Taylor, who has selective mutism, often clams up and doesn’t talk when introduced to a situation in which she is not comfortable. But this summer, she was given the opportunity to try the ACE program and discovered she really enjoys it. She has actively participated in the activities and discussions and is appearing to grow and thrive in this environment.
Jonathan is a long-term member who has struggled off and on throughout the years with interfering behaviors. He is often aggressive towards staff and is difficult to take out into the community. His mom was becoming increasingly worried about Jonathan because he was not eating or taking interest in activities he enjoyed in the past. In fact, she was very concerned that she would need to find him a higher level of care. His team expressed concerns regarding his medications and advocated for him to receive genetic testing. This test indicates according to the person’s individual make up what medications are contra-indicated for him as well as which medications will work best. Because of this testing he was taken off a long-term drug and switched to a different medication. Since the medication change Jonathan is eating more and choosing healthier foods, playing with games and toys he’d been ignoring, showing more interest in engaging with staff, enjoying more activities and is more alert and focused.
On August 1st, our new house on 22nd St in West Des Moines opened. Although not everyone has moved in yet, the roommates are getting along really well and enjoying their new home. Andrew, who moved from another Mainstream Living home, is acclimating to his new environment and has recently cut his regular phone calls with family from 20 minutes to 5 minutes because he wants to get back to his activities with his roommates. Bill, who is new to Mainstream Living, told his family, “I really like it” when they asked him about his new home. This is a big relief for his family because he used to run away from his last placement. They also shared that he is so much more active since moving in and commented that he is doing things he used to enjoy but has not done since the 1980s. The guys are cooking together, going out on activities and recently became part of a VIP club with the Iowa Cubs where they get special shirts, game balls and player autographs.