Orange Socks’ parent, RISE, Inc. supports people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in their home. One of these people is Buddy.
 
Buddy has an adventurous spirit and during his growing up years frequently ran away from home, only to return later with the help of family friends throughout the community. When he was 15, he was placed in an institution, in a large city, hundreds of miles from his parents. While there he would sneak away from staff and catch a bus downtown. After several years, his mother wanted him closer to her and moved him into a RISE group home. There she could visit with him as often as she liked.
 
At the RISE group home, his challenging behaviors were considered only temporary limitations. The staff absolutely adore him and his fun personality. RISE director, Tiffany, stated that 15 years ago she would have been “very nervous” to take Buddy to Disneyland, but last year he was able to go when RISE took many clients there. Buddy had never done most of the things a trip like that required, but with the support of the RISE staff, he was able to go.
 
Buddy was able to overcome obstacles and do something that some believed would never happen. This reminds me of a Disability Scoop article I read about a young boy with autism. Mitchell Robins lost the ability to speak when he was 4 years old. He was only able to communicate with limited sign language and pictures. But now, at 17, he is able to spell and tell his parents and those around him exactly what he wants and how he is feeling. In fact, he has started a blog about his life. Much like Buddy, Mitchell did what some thought was impossible.
 
These two stories are inspirational. It proves that no matter the disability, a person will thrive with the right support. That’s the ultimate goal of Orange Socks, we want to help parents like you champion their children. Whether it’s going to Disneyland or starting a blog, your child deserves every opportunity they can have.

Gerald Nebeker, Ph.D. Orange Socks President 

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