I wish people understood just how bright and intelligent our individuals actually are and that our individuals have feelings. They react the same as someone without similar conditions. The biggest misconception that I hear is “Oh, I thought all people like that live in facilities. “ People really believe our population should be locked away like prisoners… like they have done something wrong and should be caged like animals. This is so upsetting and disappointing when I hear these things.
That’s when I explain that our organization and our group homes are run like everyone else’s life. Our group homes are located in nice residential neighborhoods with neighbors who love and respect what we do, which has helped our individuals have the best quality of life.
When I explain all the normal activities that we do like going to the movies, trips to amusement parks, Spirit of Philadelphia, shows, circuses, sporting events, etc. people are truly shocked. This puts a smile on my face.
You should see the reactions I get by the end of the conversation… People are amazed to know just how normal our individual’s are and how much training goes into helping our individuals become more independent.
I also love to see the expressions on people’s faces when they know how passionate I am about what I do and how much pride my job brings me. I feel great that everyone has a better understanding and respect for what we do. It’s such a rewarding job especially when we see their progress.
Knowledge is key and most people don’t understand what they don’t know; but spreading the knowledge is key.
Photo Credit: SQ Productions