Ahoskie, NC, October 23, 2017
Sometimes the simplest activity is the hardest thing to accomplish for a person with a disability. At Easterseals UCP, our goal is to assist children and adults with all disabilities to live, learn, work and play in our communities through our services. This month, we are spreading awareness for individuals with Down syndrome, the most common chromosomal disorder.
One in 700 babies are born today with Down syndrome which equates to 6,000 infants annually. It occurs when an individual has a full or partial extra copy of chromosome 21.According to the National Down Syndrome Society, people with Down syndrome have varying degrees of cognitive delays, from mild to severe. The cause of Down syndrome is unknown.
One of the newest Easterseals UCP programs is the EMPOWER Adult Program in Ahoskie, NC. Not only does this location serve children with intellectual and developmental disabilities in the afterschool program and summer camp, but during the day, an adult program has been successful. EMPOWER stands for Engaging and Motivating People through Opportunities in Wellness, Education, and Recreation. EMPOWER is a program sponsored by Trillium Health Resources. Every morning from Monday through Thursday, Easterseals UCP staff teach adults new skills through activities or on field trips. Anyone who has graduated from high school is eligible for this free program.
Currently, 16 adults are part of this program and they’re learning how to cook, make crafts, volunteer, and essential social skills.Two brothers, Cole and Garrett, are a big part of the adult program.They are very different as brothers but they are learning the same social skills of making friends.
Before the adult program began, Cole had a hard time getting out of bed since most of his friends went off to college and he was lonely. Now, he is eager to get to Easterseals UCP and meet up with his friends. Garrett, has progressed socially too with many new friends at the program. Last February, he was crowned prom king at their Valentine’s dance.
Sarah Grace Britton, the site director and sister to Cole and Garrett, said, “It has been really great for me to see them finally make friends that are so similar to them. Now they don’t have to worry about their friends reaching milestones. I’m glad that they don’t have to feel alone anymore.”
Easterseals UCP EMPOWER Adult Program also has a free parent support group run by Cole and Garrett’s parents.
For more information about the Easterseals UCP EMPOWER Adult Program in Ahoskie, NC (Hertford County).Additional Resources:National Down Syndrome SocietyNorth Carolina Council on Developmental DisabilitiesGlobal Down Syndrome Foundation – list of NC Organizations
ABOUT EASTERSEALS UCP
Easterseals UCP works side-by-side with adults and children who are managing disabilities and mental health challenges. We serve as a nurse, a therapist, a social worker, a job counselor, a teacher, a psychologist, a caregiver and a compassionate friend all rolled into one. Our purpose is to help neighbors in need achieve better days and live their best possible life.
Learn more about Easterseals UCP at www.eastersealsucp.com