105 Campus Drive, Oneonta, NY 13820
Moving is never easy, but for people with developmental disabilities the challenges that come with adjusting to a new home are often magnified. Changes in routine and setting can be very difficult and can sometimes lead to depression or changes in behavior.
Helping people navigate through these difficult transitions is something that the expert staff at Springbrook is well prepared for, so when it was time to welcome the newest members of the family into our Bird Avenue Community Home in Sidney last year, extra care was taken to make sure everyone was adjusting at his or her own pace.
Right: Marie (3rd from left) with her family in April, 2014.
One of the eight new Bird Avenue residents was Marie. Before becoming part of the Springbrook family, Marie had difficulty finding things she liked to do out in the community, which caused her to remain indoors and also resulted in her turning to food for comfort. It had been over four years since she had seen her family, and she had not been to her hometown of Corning, New York since she was nine-years-old.
Springbrook saw something else in Marie, though: the ability to change. Her outgoing, nurturing, and “live-out loud” personality is infectious. She loves to sing and dance, and is deeply passionate about those who she loves most. Within months of moving into Bird Avenue, staff coached her and taught her how to make healthy food choices and supported her efforts to create positive relationships with her peers. With guidance and encouragement from Bird Avenue staff, Marie not only accepted the change that had come with her move, but had embraced it and began making her own inspiring transitions.
It didn’t take long before it was clear she was ready to see her family. So, on a chilly day in April, she and her staff made the trip to Corning to visit her family. Marie and her family cried tears of joy and overwhelming happiness as they were reunited. Since then, her family has been able to visit once more and they have made plans for several more visits over the summer as well.
One of the biggest challenges facing adults with developmental disabilities is advocacy. As adults age, so do their parents and loved ones, so it becomes increasingly difficult to find the right person to help an individual with tough decisions. Reuniting Marie with her family not only fills an emotional void, but also helps on a practical level, because as the thirty-four-year-old gets older, she will face new challenges and decisions. Now, she has the support of not only her Springbrook family, but her birth family as well.
Marie’s heartwarming story is just one of many at Springbrook. For her, these recent successes are only the beginning. Just imagine how much she will grow, and how many more obstacles she will overcome as time goes by. Her story, like so many others, is the perfect example of how Springbrook stays true to its promise to support people from birth through end of life.