May 31, 2016. Transitions are a part of everyone’s life. The more significant ones occur when a young adult graduates from high school and are even more remarkable when that student is autistic, blind and non-verbal. Theresa Jordan is extremely proud of her son, Trenton, as he graduates from Falcon High School this month. Trenton, who turns 21 this year, has attended Special Kids Special Families’ Zach’s Place program since he was a young boy. He attended Zach’s Place on weekends throughout elementary, middle and high school, and is a part of the transition program at Falcon School District D49. “I was at the end of my rope and couldn’t find anyone to watch my son,” says Theresa, “then I heard about Zach’s Place.” Over the years, Zach’s Place has provided valuable respite time for Theresa and Trenton. “I am so grateful for the help I get from them. The staff is awesome with my son and I cannot express how important it is to have a break. I don’t know what I would do without this valuable respite care.”
Trenton, like other kids his age, loves going on walks, listening to music (especially Elvis and country gospel), and going to the pool. He especially enjoys being outside as it gives him sensory stimulation. When it rains, he loves to turn his face up to the sky with lots of smiles. He also likes going to the mountains to sit by a stream and just listen, as it gives him quiet contentment.
When school ends, transitioning to adulthood for youth with disabilities is extremely challenging. Many young adults still experience sensory, cognitive, physical and communicative limitations while families feel “lost” and unable to determine the next steps. They find it difficult to access supports and services which presents significant challenges. Special Kids Special Families (SKSF) offers a “life span” model of services to individuals age 2 to 65. Through various programs, SKSF provides a framework of activities that develop independent living and personal skills while assisting youth in reaching their goals after high school graduation.
Trenton has recently attended Joey’s Place, the adult services program at Special Kids Special Families, where he loves learning new skills and participating in various activities. While at Joey’s Place, Theresa is given a needed break from the 24/7 care that Trenton requires. Students with special needs can and should be active members of their community. By following a pathway to success, SKSF can help them plan for the supports that will be needed in adult life. “Special Kids Special Families has been a huge part of our family all these years and is truly a blessing,” says Theresa.
For more information about Zach’s Place, Joey’s Place and other SKSF services, visit www.SKSFcolorado.org.