Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Developmental disabilities Awareness Month: Michelle's Story

There is a difference between being “different” and being “unique”. As an individual facing developmental disabilities, there’s no denying Michelle is “different” from your average 24 year old. She is one of the 4.6 million Americans living with such a disability, but out of those millions, she is unique. And that’s where we come in.

 After moving to Central Florida from New Jersey, Michelle’s family discovered our Day Break program located in Winter Park. Her mother and step-father, both employed full time, felt uneasy about leaving their daughter home while they were working. Apart from Michelle living with congenital heart disease, developmental delays and hypertension, Michelle’s parents were concerned about her introverted nature. They wanted her to be social and were certain that in their absence, she would spent a majority of her time watching TV. Luckily, they found just what they were looking for in Easter Seals. Day Break offers a caring daytime environment for adults over the age of 18 with special needs or disabilities. With a balanced daily meal and plenty of social activities for Michelle, her parents couldn’t think of a better place for her. So, they decided to dive in.

At first, Michelle was shy and reserved. Given a few months, however, Michelle would soon become quite the social butterfly. She discovered her love for arts & crafts and her incredible urge to help others in any way she possible. Her parents are absolutely thrilled with her daily socialization, and thank goodness too, because with her ever-growing enthusiasm and caring nature we can’t help but adore her! At Day Break, Michelle has been able to meet new people, try a variation of activities, and discover exactly what makes her unique.

In honor of March being “Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month” we want to not only share Michelle’s awesome story of self-discovery, but promote the awareness of individuals living with developmental disabilities. Everyone deserves their chance to shine and we at Easter Seals let our members shine every single day.

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