When you have a child with a disability you face challenges that at times seem insurmountable. Our son, Adam, has a rare congenital abnormality known as Multiple Lentigo Syndrome and as a result he is intellectually disabled. Of the less than 300 people nationwide who have been diagnosed with this disorder, most of them share various health and developmental problems, an amiable disposition and curly dark hair, as does Adam. He also is happy, thoughtful, outgoing and full of good will toward everyone he meets.
During Adam’s early years our greatest fear was what the future would hold for him. Thirty-five years later, that fear is still present. From the beginning as we dealt with medical professionals, the school system, social situations, etc., we were very proactive. We always strived to find the best possible atmosphere for Adam to have a chance to succeed. He went to South Carroll High School where he made many friends as manager of the football and lacrosse teams. He then entered the post secondary program and was hired by The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company as a utility clerk at Superfresh grocery store.
It was at this time that we began our search for an adult agency. Since Adam became a client of The Arc Carroll County they have been very involved in his life. They provided job coaching and transportation to his job until, after Adam had 16 years of steady employment, Superfresh went out of business. Adam is now part of an innovative program at The Arc geared to finding employment in an atmosphere to complement his unique skills and challenges.
In addition, several years ago The Arc introduced Adam to a program that provided business start-up funds for people with disabilities. As a result, he is now the proud owner of AD Vending Machines and owns 13 vending machines in various locations in Carroll County. Again The Arc assists Adam with transportation and job coaching to manage his machines.
The Arc also supports Adam in other aspects of his life by providing caring individuals to enable him to have an active social life. They take him on dates with his girlfriend, transport him to Special Olympic events, and provide respite care when needed. Presently it is Adam’s choice to live at home with us. If sometime in the future that changes, we feel confident that The Arc will be there with ideas and support for independent living, as they have done this for many of Adam’s friends.
The challenges and the fears of the future are still there, but The Arc and their supports have been so valuable to us over the years. We are members of The Arc Carroll County and we contribute to them so that they will always be there for Adam and others who need them. Your gift to The Arc Carroll County will enable people with intellectual and developmental disabilities to have an opportunity to lead rewarding lives, just like Adam. We hope you will give as generously as you can.
Thank you for caring!
Ron and Fran Dunn
P.S. Please consider making a monthly gift to The Arc Carroll County. Your gift will provide The Arc with ongoing support needed each month to support people like Adam. Click here to get started. Thank you!