Bridget said she didn’t like bowling. Or swimming. She consistently responded to situations by saying “No.”

Her Community Case Manager, Christa, recalled, “Once she started going to Pine Tree Society’s Community Support Program, she went from refusing to do anything to wanting to connect with friends and go bowling and swimming.”

For Christa, that speaks volumes about Pine Tree Society’s Direct Support Professionals; that they are highly trained and truly love what they do.

“The staff are really good at meeting Bridget where she is and giving her the kind of support and coaching she needs,” Christa continued. “The fact she now enjoys bowling and swimming tells me they are encouraging her and presenting things in a way that makes her want to participate.”

On day one, Bridget’s parents knew she was in the right place. They saw positive changes that carried over at home. She’s been with the program for a year now and they’ve seen remarkable growth. For them, consistency is key.

“The more she goes, the better she is. Her attitude alone has improved 90%,” said her mother, Georganne. “We know she’s in the right place.”

At last year’s Community Support Program holiday party, her parents saw Bridget interact, hand out cards and greet everyone by name. 

“Those are things she’d never done before,” Georganne recalled. “She went up and talked with people and joked around. She wasn’t shy and withdrawn. She introduced people as her friend and even introduced us. That’s not something she would have ever done before. It was a joy to see.”

Bridget’s Direct Support Professional, Elaine, believes in consistency and meeting people where they are.

“I like to observe and listen and that’s how I developed a rapport with Bridget,” Elaine said. “I’m not here to be demanding. I’m here to help her grow. That’s what I love in my job. Seeing people flourish. Bridget is amazing. She makes me laugh every day. She wants to establish friendships. She’s leaned how to ride the bus. She loves going out into her community. Those are things that mean a lot to me because I can see her growing. We’ve done the work and now she does it on her own.”

Learn more about Pine Tree Society’s Community Support Program

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