I have a little cousin with disabilities who’s not quite so little anymore. Growing up our families weren’t terribly close, but I’d catch glimpses of him playing outside and I noticed the difficulties he had even then. They live in an area that, like so many others then and even now, did not have behavior analytic services as an option.
Now entering his twenties, I hear stories about him grown and frustrated, aggressive, being turned away from agency after agency. The world, or most of it, is simply not equipped to provide the appropriate level of care and ensure the safety of someone like my cousin along with their staff.
When I see the work we do with our clients and I see them learn appropriate skills to replace inappropriate behaviors and enrich their lives, it is hard not to imagine their alternative future — one that has been so very real for so many people. The work that we do gives them a fighting chance to live as independently as possible, to develop their strengths, and to provide a foundation for successful daily living.
When we go into their homes, or welcome them into our facilities, what we are saying is, there is hope, let us help.
My love of working for AHSS is not simply due to its excellence in organization, human resource management, and service delivery, but because all of this serves to amplify that simple, powerful message. That’s why we do what we do.
by Joseph McDonald, BCBA Specialist, AHSS Michigan