105 Campus Drive, Oneonta, NY 13820
Springbrook is committed to providing the most comprehensive list of support opportunities available. No matter their age, each person is given the attention that he or she needs. Support may be in the form of an adaptive mobility device, an iPad app that helps a non-verbal person to better communicate, or a therapeutic horseback riding lesson. But supporting individuals also means being there through all phases of life, including the difficult transition from youth to adulthood.
One example of an individual who is currently working with Springbrook to find a more independent living situation is 20-year-old, Ryan Carlisle. He currently lives with his parents and leads a very active lifestyle. After graduating from Milford Central School in 2013, Ryan worked in the bus garage, where he cleaned the buses. Then, thanks to the services provided through Springbrook’s Supported Employment Program, he was given the opportunity to work at Springbrook’s Facilities Department. For several months, he has been washing and cleaning out company vehicles, and helping to prepare inventory for distribution to our various locations. In his free time, he enjoys fishing and camping with his dad, and playing video games with friends. Ryan is also working toward getting his driver’s license, and is a proud member of the Springbrook Scorpions Special Olympics soccer and basketball teams. And, with the right support, he would be a good candidate for transitioning into living on his own.
Right: Ryan, working at the Springbrook Facilities Department
Springbrook’s Alternative Living Coordinator, Hank Lobb, has been exploring such living options with Ryan and his parents to see what might work best for them. Presently, his parents are considering the possibility of building a mobile home on their property, which would allow Ryan the flexibility of living his own, independent lifestyle, while also having access to his family in case of emergency. However, although he would be living on the same property as he had before, Ryan would require support during his transition from one setting to the other. Springbrook is able to help with some parts of the transition process, but we could be doing more.
People with developmental disabilities often struggle with shifts in routine in ways that people with more typical lifestyles do not. Behavioral changes or depression are common side effects associated with abrupt changes in an individual’s life. In order for a transition to be successful, it is critical that both individuals and their families feel confident and safe in the choices they have made together. Ideally, Ryan and others in similar situations could benefit from having a transitional space where there would be support and guidance for individuals and families. Our goal is to provide confidence in a move that leaves an individual feeling empowered, rather than defeated. Coaching in skills such as financial responsibility, hygienic living, meal planning, and healthy decision-making greatly improve an individual’s chances of overall success.
Left: Ryan (right), passing the ball to teammate Alva at the scorpions Basketball Invitational Tournament