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
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.