When my husband and I were contemplating transitioning Brian from the Rosewood Center in Baltimore about 18 years ago, we didn’t really know much about the options that were available to us. But, around that time, we spoke with Dr. Mathew from Center for Social change. He told us about options for individuals like Brian to live in small apartments or homes with only two to three housemates. This idea was new to us, as we had only been familiar with the Rosewood setting, in which Brian lived with many, many other individuals. We liked the idea of a smaller setting for Brian to live in, and we thought Brian would like that too. As we learned more about CSC, the entire program sounded very good to us. Dr. Mathew was extremely kind and sensitive, and we felt a great sense of comfort with him.
When Brian first left Rosewood, he had a difficult history of behaviors that were harmful to himself. He could not help it, but he would often hit his head and ears, and might even bite himself. This was difficult for Brian, and difficult for us, his parents. But, after really a very short time, we noticed that these behaviors began to change, and his overall behaviors became much better. We observed that Brian was becoming much more calm; in fact, it was almost as if Brian was becoming a completely different person. And we were most pleased that CSC accomplished this by care and sensitivity of staff, and without the use of a heavy regimen of medication. Overall, after a relatively short time, Brian simply seemed happier than he ever had before.
These changes have greatly improved the types of interactions that we can have with Brian. When we bring Brian home for a visit, we can all enjoy trips out shopping, for a ride in the car, or even to go out for a meal at a local restaurant. In years past, we could never have really done this without concerns that Brian might exhibit behaviors that would make such visits impossible. In the past, such concerns were a constant worry; now, those worries simply don’t exist, and things are just so much better.
It is Brian’s ability to participate with us in such community activities that we are most proud of. And, his no longer demonstrating behaviors that are harmful to himself is what we find the most amazing. If Brian could tell us, we believe that he would also recognize the success he has had in controlling those behaviors that were harmful to himself. As much as he can understand, we believe that he really does appreciate living in a home of his own and being a part of his community; although he can’t tell this to us himself, we are sure that his calmness and the fact that he just seems so satisfied tells us all that we need to know.
Long ago, we never thought Brian would have achieved so much. Brian has come very far, and this serves to improve both our lives and Brian’s.