Friday, April 13, 2012

Shawn Dacey Shares How Early Intervention at The Arc of Delaware County Changed His Life

This extraordinary young man recently wrote a letter of appreciation and thanks to the people at Delarc who worked with him to provide him the skills and tools he would later use to be the successful man he is today. We congratulate Shawn on his many achievements in life and know he has a fulfilling and exciting future ahead of him. Join him in recognizing the fine work of the Arc of Delaware County’s early intervention programs, now known as Carousel Children’s Services. For more information on Carousel go to the Services page on our website.
Shawn wrote:

Dear ARC,

I am writing this letter in regards to show my appreciation for all the service that you have given both myself and my family during the 1990’s. My name is Shawn Dacey and I attended the ARC in Hamden, New York from 1992 to 1996. It was during these four years, that your skilled professionals worked with me in early intervention programs. Whether it was physical therapy or social group work, I remember my time at the ARC fondly.

As stated earlier, when I started the program in 1992 I was not even two years of age. As such, I was unsure of why my parents entered me into the program at the ARC during the next four years. It wasn’t until I became much older that I realized they wanted to give me every opportunity that they could for me to succeed. From what my mother (Sandra Lee Dacey) told me, I was diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome at some point in the 1990’s. Even thought the doctors thoroughly believed I had many of the symptoms, your professionals believed that I was not autistic. They continued to work with me so I could achieve a level of social, physical, and speech proficiency that would be acceptable in a public school setting. Through the ARC’s early intervention program, I was able to enter Kindergarten in 1996 and work side by side with regular students.

Although elementary and middle school was very tough times for me socially; I was able to succeed academically. In many instances I would one up my teachers in class with little known facts. It wasn’t until high school that I was able to fully utilize the tools that the ARC’s early intervention program provided me. It was in only four short years, which
I went from the most unpopular kid at Delaware Academy to the senior class president, prom king, and recognized football player (not to brag). Although high school was an extraordinary time of my life, I truly believe that it has been college that has let me blossom into the young man I am today.

Currently, I am completing a dual major in geography and social studies education at SUNY Oneonta. I have 3.86 GPA and am an active member of the campus community, participating in both academic and athletic spheres. In addition to my academic and social achievements, I owe a huge debt of gratitude to the ARC in opening me up to the outside world. It was during my time at the ARC that I became interested in the world around me and as such, I have been to 20 countries since 2007

I do not mean to boast my personal achievements, but without the early intervention I am confident I would not be the same person that I am today. This is why I owe the ARC and its entire professional staff (especially Honeybee) a heartfelt thank you. It is my hope that this letter will show other parents that even though their children may be diagnosed with certain disorders, it does not mean they are out of the race for a productive and successful life. By taking advantage of the early intervention programs at the ARC, my parents were able to ensure that I would led the life I am today. For this, I thank all of you.

Shawn Dacey


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Lynn Hoffman Recieves a Blesher Award for Creativity and Caring

Blesher Lil Heart stopped by the Hamden Town Hall April 11th to present Lynn Hoffman with an award. Lynn was recognized for the creative and caring way she assisted individuals who live at Elm Street Residence in Delhi, NY to design and express the characteristics they most appreciated about their housemates. Then, these individuals requested Lynn to help them do the same project for the staff that supports them, keeping it a secret until they were ready to present it. Lynn helped them to accomplish this act of kindness and recognition and on their terms.
Lynn demonstrates the Unifying Priciples of the Arc of Delaware County as noted in the nomination written by Juliane Hillis:
  • Those we Serve Come First

(Lynn) assisted residents to express positively about their peers.

  • Commit to Excellence

Used different methods to listen to and record each individual's thoughts.

  • Be Dedicated

Looked for tangible ways people could express and feel cared for (both residents, as well as staff).

  • Employee Satisfaction

Residents requested she assist them to do the same project for staff and without letting other staff know. She assisted those we serve to thank and appreciate staff.

  • Communicate Effectively

Met with each individual searately and allowed people an opportunity to express gratitude and appreciation in meaningful ways.

  • Be Innovative

Created a project that allowed residents to explore artistic talents and communicate positively.

Congratulations Lynn!