Cherae Pope is like a lot of 14-year-old girls. She goes to school. She likes to play softball and swim. She loves going out to eat and enjoys any time she can be the center of attention. Just like other teenagers.
Well, OK … She is different from most girls her age in one way: She plays on a hockey team.
Erin Crick 2018-08-23T10:22:03+00:00 August 23rd, 2018|
Malachi Cole wasn’t named an MVP because he has scored more touchdowns than anyone else, caught more passes or kicked more field goals. Frankly, the 14-year-old Damar Services client hasn’t done anything that typically would win applause from a crowd. But he has done something that, for him, is remarkable: He has progressed. And for that, he was celebrated as a Damar MVP at the Colts-Ravens game through a partnership between Damar and the Colts.
Trauma is an increasing presence in our children’s lives, whether it’s personal trauma such as serious illness, physical abuse or poverty, or “secondary trauma,” such as witnessing domestic violence, having an incarcerated parent or living with an addict. As a result, we can’t expect children to come into the classroom ready to learn, behave and function “normally.”
Instead, we must view their behaviors in light of possible trauma, and adapt our thinking to accommodate it.
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.
Angel has severe autism and has a history of running off. His lack of verbal communication is extremely challenging and can be dangerous. If Angel was lost or injured, he would have no way to communicate his needs.
Brittney Kalmas has been with Damar for 10 years. She leads a team of master level clinicians providing one-on-one services for Damar clients. Kalmas says the work/life balance and daily reminders of the impact she’s making is why her role at Damar is remarkable.
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.”