Each and every day approximately 353,000 babies are brought into the world by laboring mothers who anxiously wait for the first indication of life … the cry. However, for some mothers, the first cry is coupled doctors and nurses whisking the baby away, or whispering amongst themselves directly in front of the new parents.
“WE HAVE CONCERNS SOMETHING IS NOT RIGHT.”
In an instant, these newly blessed parents find themselves ejected from their comfy seats in first class to immediate placement in the economic section of a plane going way too fast for them to process any of the emotions attached to being the parent of a child with special needs.
Early Intervention, speech and physical therapy, sweat test, failure to thrive, intrauterine growth retardation, legal blindness, hearing impairment, and pervasive developmental disorder become the norm.
THE YOUNG PARENTS DESPERATELY SEEK ANSWERS.
Appointment after appointment.
Specialist after specialist.
Nothing but continued frustration over lack of answers as to “why” this happened.
The years past, the young boy develops into his own unique persona, and eventually, the question of “why” gets answered -
BECAUSE HE WAS CREATED FOR A GREATER PURPOSE.
Now, imagine you are THIS young person with intellectual/developmental disabilities (I/DD) watching your siblings get their first car, go on their first date, graduate from high school and college, and eventually, move out of their childhood home into a place of their own.
Imagine you are watching these changes unfold as the oldest child in the sibling group and the last one left to fly the nest … simply because there is
LACK OF HOUSING.
In New York State, over thousands individuals with intellectual/developmental disabilities are waiting to find home ... away from mom or dad, grandma or grandpa, or caregiver. A placement where independence is nurtured, and empowerment thrives. Unfortunately, for these individuals, this means remaining on a list with Central Register at the Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) until an opening arises, a list that is approximately 20 years long.
AUSTIN IS ONE OF THESE INDIVIDUALS and THE INSPIRATION BEHIND THE VILLAGE OF HOPE.