Inclusion at Its Best

January 23rd, 2020
Inclusion

Today, I am especially proud to bring you a guest article from Fitness for Health’s client, Brian.  Thank you, Brian, for sharing your personal, job experiences with us!

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When I was born with autism, my parents nor my peers have known what challenges I would face in life.

Having a disability means I need to prove myself and societal expectations.

I felt it in school, I felt it in Project Search Montgomery, I felt in the Most program, and I felt it at SEEC.

I feel it in my current group home, and now I feel it at my current job at the Wheaton Park Stables.

Though I’ve had many successes, being bar mitzvahed in 2005, confirmed from Temple Beth Ami in 2008, and graduated in 2010, I’ve always been pushing forward, despite my autism.

My disability has also helped me become better in what I do.

When I first started out at the Wheaton Park Stables, I was sweeping a lot, then I transitioned to mucking and feeding the horses grain.

I love doing those jobs because they help the horses.

My previous experiences at the past organizations have helped me become a better person and individual.

People reacted to me differently at MOST and Project Search because they didn’t understand that I was more of an active individual that enjoyed moving around while working.

They thought, “If this office job at the Department of Permitting Services or American Repro would be good for him, that would be the best match.”

In 2016, I visited the Arc Montgomery County’s Stand Together group and saw their advocates were trying to make the state of Maryland more inclusive.

When I started working at the Wheaton Park Stables with the CP Project, I was awarded by the county for my work there.

In the award, it mentioned that I proved myself as a great employee and naysayers wrong.

I really like the work at the Wheaton Park Stables!

Sometimes I see groups of individuals and staff from different organizations such as the Arc and when they see me work, they say, “Good job,” and I like to make conversations with them.

Just today, a staff from the Arc said, “Good Job.”

I hope that the Arc Montgomery County’s advocates will continue with their work on explaining to congress that individuals need these day programs and housing.

Though the organizations I had in the past were bad experiences didn’t work out, I still learned from them.

I’ve seen lots of change in the disability community thanks to individuals and senators coming together to make Montgomery County a more inclusive community.

In conclusion, let’s hope the future is bright for 2020!

About Fitness for Health:

Fitness for Health and the Center for Communication and Learning are once again offering summer programs in August for children (ages 4-10) and teens (ages 11-16) with social communication challenges. 

  • B Social Therapeutic Summer Program – This program for ages 4-10 will integrate Social Thinking® and movement in collaboration with Sue Abrams, M.A., CCC-SLP, a Speech/Language Pathologist. Concepts will be introduced in a fun and motivating way encouraging participants to explore and improve their social thinking skills and motor development.
  • B Social Team Building for Adolescents with Social Challenges  – This program is specifically geared for students ages 11-16 with ADD/ADHD, Social Communication Disorder and/or Autism Spectrum Disorder.  Our B Social Team Building Program focuses on developing your adolescent’s social competency.   Social Thinking® is more than just about being social. The skills and strategies we teach will impact students’ performance at school, in the community and throughout their lives.

Reimbursement of costs for the program may be available for insurance coverage and/or flexible health spending accounts.  Kaiser Permanente members with prior authorization have a possibility for large savings.

Attend our Summer Programs Open House on this Sunday, January 26, from 5pm – 6pm to learn about our social skills programs, tour our gym, and give your kids the opportunity to meet – and play – with our staff members.  RSVP to Jennifer@FitnessForHealth.org.

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