MA in Education: Behavior Disorders including Autism, additional certification in Mental Impairments and Learning Disabilities
"I was the 1st staff at Mainstream when we opened on October 4, 2004. I have been a Service Coordinator, Waiver Director, and am now the Executive Director. I was previously a Special Education teacher in various Wayne County schools. I have a brother with cerebral palsy. My youngest daughter, Jonnie, has autism.
One area of interest for me at Mainstream is the Intensive Support Settings. Most of our ISS consumers live in their own apartment. My daughter Jonnie lives in a house with another consumer/ friend. They each have their own staff 24/ 7 enabling both girls to have adequate training time and to provide protective oversight.
I have been lucky to see Jonnie grow and thrive in an Intensive Support Setting. She is able to be with staff closer to her own age. They have encouraged her to be more "girly". Many people feel they must keep their child with special needs at home. This is a wonderful idea- in theory. John and I were finding as Jonnie grew up we were also aging. Spending 20 years sleeping in shifts to keep her safe at night and a little health scare made us realize we were no longer able to keep her safe and provide all the training she needed. There is NOTHING wrong with saying we need help to keep our child safe and progressing. We also made the decision as parents not to ask our older daughter, Raechel, to keep her. Raechel has had to make numerous sacrifices while growing up. I want her actively involved in Jonnie's care but not responsible for it. This is not institutionalization. It is loving your child enough to let them continue to grow and thrive.
Please feel free to call/ text me at 304-939-1943. I can be reached by email at the above link. You are also welcome to stop by the office. I am here not only for your child but also for you."