We are among the fortunate parents who have relied upon GCSS for assistance with our 37 year old son, Art, in his living situation. Art has Autism and resides in a group home with three other young men with developmental disabilities and feels more like a responsible adult than he would if he still lived with his mom and dad. At his GCSS home, Art receives outstanding professional supervision and care, with the main focus of his care being the instruction he receives in daily living tasks.
Before he entered the group home, we assisted Art with showering, teeth brushing, toileting, and dressing. The goal of GCSS programs is to make each client as self-reliant as possible; so they’ve taught our son to complete each of these hygiene and practical tasks on his own.
It took us many years to accept that our child will never outgrow a developmental disability. Brokenhearted parents accustom themselves to caring for their child by doing everything necessary for daily survival. GCSS believes that each person, no matter how severely afflicted with a disability, can learn to take some responsibility for himself or herself. They assess what they believe each resident can accomplish and then develop a person-centered plan for learning specific skills. Art now showers and dresses himself, uses the toilet with no assistance, helps set the table, rinses his dishes and places them in the dishwasher, participates in loading his laundry into the washing machine, and takes the garbage out. It took our partnership with GCSS for us to believe that all of this could happen.
Art’s story is not unique. In each GCSS program young men and women who are profoundly impaired enjoy life to the fullest. They participate in community outings like bowling and going to the movies, take part in daily exercise like walking around their neighborhoods or parks, go dancing at parties, and enjoy barbeques where they meet fellow GCSS residents from other group homes.
The government waiver assistance that most of these clients receive does not cover the full cost of maintaining these homes. While some parents like us sponsor many of these activities for our sons and daughters, the majority of group home residents have no such personal supports. GCSS depends upon community support to enhance the care of their clients. Won’t you join me in making a tax deductible donation to this worthy organization? Your help enables GCSS to keep these residents out of institutions and to give them the lives they deserve in the community. Please follow the link below or visit www.gacommunity.org to make a donation to GCSS. In doing so you honor not only this deserving organization, but all the other parents and families who want their children to live life to the fullest.
With warm wishes for a Happy Mother’s Day,
From the desk of Fran and Stuart Galishoff