Five months ago, Junior Jerome moved into a Unique People Services (UPS) residence and joined the agency’s Day Habilitation Program, a vital service providing developmentally disabled individuals with the skills needed for increased self-sufficiency and social inclusion. Coming from an out-of-state program, Junior was initially “shy and kept to himself,” UPS staff recall, however with continued support and encouragement, he has grown to be more sociable and now participates in a variety of activities.
On the road to his transformation, Day Hab staff closely monitored Junior’s behaviors to learn his likes and dislikes, and the areas that needed improving. Exhibiting a calm, patient demeanor helped staff build a trusting rapport with Junior, who now looks forward to attending program each morning.
During the day, you’ll often find him expressing his creativity during arts and crafts, and when it comes to social outings, Junior is ready to go! Trips to the zoo, circus, arcade, bowling alley and neighborhood restaurants are just some of the places he has visited.
Wherever he goes, Junior is taught important safety skills while out in the community. “Day Hab staff teach him the significance of red, green and yellow traffic lights so he can cross the street safely,” explains Junior’s Residence Manager. “When he returns home, we continue these important lessons so he can navigate his surroundings properly.” After moving in last year, Junior had difficulty distinguishing between the exterior of residence and the house next door. Through the guidance of direct support professionals, he’s now able to identify the residence and enter the correct gate.
Junior has become so perceptive that he “can spot things a mile away,” according to his Residence Manager. Although he is nonverbal, he has learned to communicate well and expresses himself through facial expressions and body language. He frequently reminds Day Hab staff to take their belongings with them when they exit the van.
In addition to demonstrating enhanced communication, cognitive and socialization skills, Junior has also learned how to overcome behavioral challenges. He now waits for staff and his peers when walking in the community.
Junior also assists with several chores at his residence, including sorting his laundry and setting the table at mealtimes. He continues to meet his goals and has now added a new one to the list: obtaining his passport so he can travel to Haiti with his mother. UPS staff are in the process of securing the appropriate documents so Junior can take on his new role as world traveler!
Please join the UPS team in congratulating Junior Jerome as our Individual of the Month!