Support Coordination

Savannah Thrives Through Transition

May 6, 2024

Savannah has severe autism and receives supports from BCFR including help with communication devices, attending her IEP meetings and paying for Camp Barnabas. Most recently, BCFR helped facilitate a successful transition from a school-run day program to an adult day program, and Savannah is thriving.

Michael and Julie were nervous about  the transition and how their daughter would cope with the change from a familiar school environment to the uncharted territory of an adult program. Their Support Coordinator Susan Thompson helped with the transition by providing assistance along the way.

“We were able to tour the different facilities that offer day programs and see Savannah in the environment for a few moments to see how she reacted to them,” said Julie. “Which I think really helped lead us to make a better decision of where she was going to go. I don’t know that I could have done all that needed to be done to get to that point. So, it was really nice to have Susan in my corner and walking us through the process, helping us get the funding and set up the tours.”

Ultimately, they decided on Missouri MENTOR Day Services. The program caters to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, physical challenges, behavioral complexities and medically complex conditions. Individualized service plans are created for each program participant, considering their unique needs and aspirations.

At MO MENTOR, Savannah enjoys a variety of activities, discovering new hobbies, making friends and community integration through going to restaurants, shopping and field trips like the zoo.

“She’s had a blast this year, she’s so happy,” said Julie. “She sits and waits for the van to come pick her up and when it shows up, she is out the door so quick. It seems like she’s always doing something, interacting with people and going places, and she’s having fun.”

Savannah also enjoys time to herself and has places to do that – she especially loves enjoying downtime while sitting on the mini trampoline.

Savannah struggled with some behavioral dysregulation in the school system and Michael and Julie were concerned those behaviors may be disruptive at the day program.

Susan said, “They were really worried that those behaviors might carry over and they haven’t. The school might have gotten worried about or upset over some of the things that are just a part of who she is, the quirks and things like that, but they don’t phase the day program. Savannah is able to successfully go for the full day, five days a week.”

Not only has she adapted well to her new environment, but she has also begun forming meaningful friendships, something she missed out on in school.

“She socializes a little bit differently than you or I would,” said Susan. “But she’s making genuine friendships. And she’s made those choices, they’re not being facilitated by staff or teachers like they were before. It’s client directed and family directed, and she’s making good choices. And she’s happy.”

This development has brought immense joy to her parents who once worried about her ability to socialize and connect with others.

“I wouldn’t have even known where to start or what would even work without BCFR,” said Julie. “I think that it just made the process a lot easier. And honestly, we were just shocked at how easy the transition was for Savannah.”