“I came here because of all the opportunities that would help me learn to take care of myself,” explains Denise, a 22 year-old resident of the Glover residence for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. “It was hard on my mom to have to take care of me all the time. I didn’t like that. I wanted to be able to take care of myself, but I didn’t know how to control my behavior.”
Even as an 18-year-old, Denise knew that it would be a challenge to learn how to be more independent and positively manage her emotions. Although she loved living with her family, she wanted to learn how to make her own decisions and take responsibility for herself. So with the support of her mom and family, Denise decided to move to Glover.
She has learned a wide variety of skills from the residential staff that have helped her to live safely and more independently, and has also received a great deal of support in managing her emotions. “I used to get upset and break things, but now I know that I can talk to the staff about anything. Especially Kimberly — I have a really good bond with her and I look up to her as my own sister. She has helped me learn how to control my aggression.”
“I have more confidence now that I've got a job and don't have to depend on my family. I know that I am going to have a good future.”
Denise not only lives at Glover and receives support from residential staff, but also attends Leake & Watts’ Pre-Vocational Program. “I work in the café. I do some maintenance work and I deliver mail to people in their offices. I’ve learned how to cut a bagel correctly, handle money and be polite to customers.”
Significantly, Denise’s training on the job is supporting everything that she is learning at home about controlling her behavior. “I’m still in the learning process with things,” she explains, “And that includes how I should handle conflicts with my coworkers. Sometimes I get angry and want to fight with them, but the staff has taught me that I need to be a bigger person than that. I’ve learned how to apologize.”
“Denise is doing really well now,” says Lilia Parks, Assistant Director of Residential Services. “She has better judgment overall, but she has also learned how to realize and acknowledge more quickly when she has made a mistake. That has helped her take a lot of control over her life and now she makes a lot of decisions for herself. We are all very proud of her.”
Living safely and more independently now with support at Glover, Denise is happy with everything that she’s learning and the progress that she is making. “Leake & Watts is really helping me figure out what I am good at so that I can get a good job. I have more confidence now that I’ve got a job and don’t have to depend on my family. I know that I am going to have a good future.”