Twenty-six-year old Nicholas can often be found riding his bike around town or to the local 7-Eleven. While that might not seem out of the ordinary for most young adults, for Nick, he is literally peddling his way to becoming self-sufficient since moving into an SCO residence for young adults with special needs.
Nick is deaf and has a developmental disability, and until recently he considered himself much of a homebody, keeping to himself and relying on staff for many activities of daily living. That is, until he moved into SCO’s Individual Residential Alternative (IRA) in Farmingdale. The confidence and level of independence Nick has gained while at the IRA is nothing short of amazing. With support and guidance of SCO staff, Nick pushed himself to step outside of his comfort zone and ever since, there has been no slowing him down.
He now holds a part-time job at the Traffic and Parking Violation Agency and has learned to use the Access-a Ride bus by himself to get to and from work. He does his own laundry, prepares meals, engages in phone calls via video chat, and for the first time in his life, enjoys going out into the community on his own.
All of this new-found independence is a welcome relief for Nick’s parents, whose worries for his future have finally been eased. Since the age of 10, Nick lived in specialized residential schools for deaf youth until he aged out at 21 and moved back home. They were concerned they wouldn’t find an appropriate setting that could meet his needs as an adult. Nick has become so self-sufficient that he has his eye on moving into a supported apartment in the near future – something they couldn’t have imagined until recently. Until then, Nick will keep rolling along on his way to becoming
even more independent.
You don’t always know you have a gift. People said Wilson was special for solving a Rubik’s cube in under a minute. He just thought he was good at puzzles. People said he had amazing confidence on the piano for a five-year-old. He just thought music was fun. His experience at Westbrook Preparatory School taught him that people can have many gifts-and that discovering them within yourself can change every aspect of your life.
Before attending Westbrook, life was different for Wilson at school, where he felt lost, misunderstood, uninterested, and socially out of place. He was down on his luck, longing for focus, friendships, fun, and rediscovering his confidence playing the piano. At Westbrook, Wilson formed new friendships and rediscovered his strength and confidence to excel in both the academic and social worlds.
The nurturing environment at Westbrook continues to drive momentous goals for Wilson – from helping him thrive in school, to preparing him for a successful future career. Wilson landed a position as an IT intern, enabling him to continue following his passion for technology.
Today, he is playing the piano with full confidence, challenging himself with pieces of Chopin and Wagner. He excels in his classes, loves taking part in sports such as the student-staff football competition, and has rediscovered an interest in exciting and eye-opening subjects including computers, cooking, and chess.
“Thanks to SCO Family of Services and Westbrook Preparatory School for being part of my success story,” said Wilson.