Meet Robert and Amy
Both Robert and Amy have Williams syndrome, but the disability isn’t what defines them. Like everyone, they think of themselves in terms of how they live and their individual interests. At Marbridge, both Robert and Amy have found success. Both have lots of friends. Both enjoy pursing their interests. Amy loves music and Robert is an auto show enthusiast. Both are also employed in the community. Amy works at a local hospital where she works in supply distribution and processing, and Robert has held a job at a local country club for many years where he works as a dishwasher and kitchen help.
I’ve learned who I am here,” says Amy. “I kind of knew, because of my disability, but I’ve found myself here.
Both Robert and Amy embrace their life at Marbridge, along with their disability. The two are very involved in the Williams Syndrome Association, having attended the organization’s annual conference for the past two years. This year, the conference will be held in Boston, and Amy and Robert are already planning the trip!
An alternative to group homes for Williams syndrome adults
Adulthood brings new challenges for families concerned about the health and quality of life of a loved one with Williams syndrome. Assisted living is a suitable option for Williams syndrome adults who need help or supervision (such as medical assistance or guidance) but can manage most daily activities on their own. But when it comes to assisted living, quality of life issues are what concern families most. At Marbridge we provide a program of training, supervision and activities that directly address quality of life. That’s what makes Marbridge a viable alternative to group homes for Williams syndrome adults. The combination of a safe environment, engaging activities and training tailored to the needs of each individual provides an overall sense of well-being and satisfaction for the adults with Williams syndrome who live at Marbridge.
We provide an individualized program for Williams syndrome adults
Because no single adult with Williams syndrome is quite like another, our Individual Program Plan addresses each person’s unique abilities and attributes in designing a care program. This what makes Marbridge a special place for Williams syndrome adults and a viable alternative to group homes for Williams syndrome adults. Any program for Williams syndrome adults must consider the type of training and activities needed to assist that person in reaching his or her goals. Our residential care for Williams syndrome adults is tailored to their needs and interests.
Life skills training; training and placement into jobs for Williams syndrome adults
From tips on grooming, to fitness and exercise—residents with Williams syndrome receive a variety of life-skills-based training. Marbridge offers training in shopping, cooking, money management, healthy eating choices and much more. The goal of Life Skills training is to enable residents to reach the highest level of personal independence possible in their daily routines.
Residents with Williams syndrome who desire employment are often enrolled in Job Skills Training. They learn the importance of staying on task, arriving at work on time, taking directions and adopting appropriate behaviors in an employment setting. Residents develop resume writing and interviewing skills and learn to set goals for the type of employment desired.
An experience similar to college for Williams syndrome adults
Employment training and personal enrichment courses have been provided by Marbridge since its founding in 1953. However, in 2001 a more structured training program was developed that integrated education, socialization, recreation, independent living skills and employment instruction. This training program now serves more than 160 residents in the Ranch and Village communities. For adults with Williams syndrome who are graduating from high school, Marbridge can provide a college-like experience.
Organized into semesters, the training schedule is based on each resident’s Individual Program Plan (IPP) goals. Generally, job skills training places within the top five goals identified in all IPPs. Job skills training is offered only to residents who list employment as a goal he or she wants to achieve. That’s because our job skills training is not a job coach program. It’s different from what most families encounter in high school or other care communities, where a job coach accompanies the individual and stands by them all day. Our program trains residents to be independent employees. At Marbridge, we believe young people with Williams syndrome can become self-determining adults, capable of competing—and winning—in the competitive workplace. Time and again, they prove us right.