Angel and AvaMariee were born early at 33 weeks. Within the first year, both children struggled to meet developmental milestones. At each well-visit checkup, we would identify our concerns, only to be told things like, "Children can catch up later in development."
Summer is a great time for kids: School’s out, the weather’s great and days are long and lazy.
Unfortunately, summer also can be dangerous time, especially for children with intellectual and developmental disabilities. We’ve all heard stories about a developmentally disabled child who wandered away and suffered an injury or met with danger.
To say that I am blessed would be an understatement. I have been married to a wonderful woman for 30 years. We have four amazing children and four highly energetic grandchildren. I have a career that fulfills me and puts food on my family’s table and a roof over their heads. But it hasn’t always been this way. I owe my entire life to a selfless stranger I met more than 40 years ago. She was my foster mom.
Most families would find it difficult to imagine the challenges facing a family when a child has a developmental disability. They might find it even harder to imagine being able to rally the relentless hope and perseverance that, sometimes, can help that child grow into a bright and energetic person. The Hovey Family knows that journey well: Their son Matt has come a long way and is now taking college classes … classes that he pays for in part by selling a joke book he wrote titled “1000 One-Liners.”
As Damar celebrates its 50th year, we look back on a lot of changes. It only makes sense: Simply surviving for a half century requires an organization to adapt, but an organization like Damar, which strives continually to innovate and improve, must do more than adapt. It must embrace change as a part of its mission.
From the entry-level employee to the clinical specialist, and from the Direct Care Technician to the Accountant, every one of us can say, “I don’t just work at Damar … I am Damar. I make a difference.”