Alex’s Road to Independence

What Nancy wants for her 12-year-old son is what most parents want for their children – a happy life and independence.

Alex is happy, but for him, reaching self-sufficiency will require a mix of education, therapies and family and community support. Alex, who has Cerebral Palsy and blindness, has been receiving services from Boone County Family Resources since 2006. Although his developmental disabilities affect his daily life, Alex has remained strong.

“He never gives up,” Nancy said. He “is willing to try new things, uses good judgment, and uses available resources in the community or at school.”

Besides that, Alex has a great sense of humor and is well-liked by his friends at middle school. Last year, he was on the six-grade honor roll.

During the week, Alex is active in a variety of activities at school, including the yearbook staff and the newspaper and computer clubs. If that wasn’t enough, he also attends Wii Nights at Services for Independent Living. This fall, Alex will attend Cedar Creek therapeutic Riding thanks to funding from BCFR.

The agency has helped in other ways, too, such as purchasing Alex an adaptive tricycle from Walt’s Bicycle Shop so he can ride with his neighborhood friends and family. Alex also received a desk-top easel that allows him view enlarged papers without straining his neck or having a family member read to him. BCFR also purchases Lifeline services monthly for the family to ensure Alex’s safety at home.

“Lifeline has given Alex the ability to stay at home by himself without having to worry about his safety if he falls,” Nancy said.

Over the past few years, Alex has used a variety of adaptive equipment from the Boone County Family Resources’ Assistive Technology Exchange program. These items plus all the services Alex receives – including those from the Columbia Public Schools, Rehabilitation Services for the Blind and the Wolfner Library – are all steps toward independence.

“The services provided or purchased by Boone County Family Resources are helping our dream for Alex to become as independent as possible,” Nancy said.

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