Through our Independent Living Program, Tyrone is living, working and engaging in his community
Tyrone started participating in Easter Seals Midwest's Independent Living Program (funded by PLB) in October of 2010. Tyrone, who was not too long out of high school and shy, is diagnosed with a mixed receptive expressive language disorder and Mild Mental Retardation. Tyrone desired to live on his own and do all the things that one should do to live independently. Tyrone also wanted to get to know the community where he desired to live in order to participate in the events and resources that his community offered and make new friends.
Tyrone’s journey to independence began with him moving out of his parent’s home and into an apartment of his own with support staff requiring 9 hours of support divided into three days a week. Tyrone required support with budgeting to pay his household bills, comparable grocery shopping, reading and responding to his mail, preparing healthy meals and furnishing/organizing his new living space. Each day brought on new challenges as living independently was something all new to Tyrone. Tyrone was persistent and worked with staff to obtain the skills needed for Tyrone to live independently.
Over time, Tyrone demonstrated that he could budget his funds, even setting himself up with automatic bill payment, to pay his rent and household bills in a timely matter. Tyrone even saved enough funds to purchase his first computer, which he now uses to do his banking online. Tyrone gradually began to take over grocery shopping on his own and cooking healthy meals for himself. Tyrone began to do this so well that he threw a party for his old high school friends and cooked all the food! Tyrone stated to furnish his apartment with pieces of furniture that were donated, given by his parents, or purchased from money he had saved. Tyrone can now determine the difference between important and “junk” mail. Tyrone still needs a small amount of support with responding to his important mail. Tyrone has become familiar with his community with staff support and has become a member of his community center and art center where he now walks to meet his new friends.
During Tyrone’s recent plan renewal meeting, Tyrone’s support hours were reduced to four hours per week. Tyrone stated that he was so “very happy” to have accomplished most of his goals to live independently with staff’s support. Tyrone is working, living and engaging in his community in a way that he says “he never thought he could do on his own.” Tyrone now wants to move on to his next journey in life, driving!