The following stories provide a picture of only a small number of stories about our members that celebrate their lives and accomplishments. The names have changed, but the details are true.
Sam is a 26 year old man with a developmental disability. He has depression, autism, and obsessive-compulsive disorder, but he is also very motivated and has a positive attitude. He was Protectively Placed by his county of residence and he was working on interaction with peers, employment and independent living skills. He saw a therapist every three weeks to assist with anxiety and behaviors. His challenges with employment included staying on task, following directions, and verbal outbursts. After he moved to a new traditional AFH in 2013, he developed new employment skills, increased social interaction, and decreased therapy and counseling. He increased community involvement by participating in Special Olympic competitions. Sam did so well that his Protective Placement was terminated after five months in the new AFH. He even went to Florida on a vacation with his AFH providers.
Julie was in a motor vehicle accident in 2012. She was only minutes from her home when the accident occurred. She was driving with three friends speeding and not wearing a seatbelt. The car hit a knoll in the road and went airborne. Julie was ejected from the vehicle and the car rolled on top of her. The accident caused her to have a broken back and paralysis. Her friends were wearing their seatbelts and received only minor injuries.
The impact of the accident has not stopped Julie from moving forward with her dreams and assisting others by sharing her story. She is hoping that her story will save lives. She is working with the DOT to promote Zero in Wisconsin, while studying therapeutic recreation and preoccupation therapy. Julie is an inspiration.
Peter is a 39 year old man who is diagnosed with a developmental disability, depression and high cholesterol. He and his girlfriend share their home with 4 cats and a tank full of fish. This gentleman is a true outdoorsman who enjoys hunting, fishing, walking, and biking.
Peter was set up to work a trial internship with a business that deconstructs buildings. After the trial internship he was hired full-time and has taken down several farm outbuildings, an outdoor summer kitchen, a two story farmhouse, and a barn. Peter was presented this member with a Career Achievement Award that he has framed and proudly displayed. The owner of the business has said, “There tends to be a stereotype that individuals with disabilities are limited but this is a classic example of how they can contribute. They want to work to give back. It’s been phenomenal to see these guys in action”.