Meet Andrew Apr 3, 2014
Adults with intellectual disabilities are an often overlooked and underfunded population. But thanks to the support of people like you, at St. Coletta we are able to create an environment where these adults can learn new skills, increase their independence, and fill their days with meaningful activities.
When Andrew Walters, who has autism, first joined the St. Coletta community in July 2012, he rarely spoke and much of his communication with staff was in the form of handwritten letters. He disliked interacting with other participants, and he would show visible annoyance when required to do so. He was also very dependent on his schedule and would become upset if changes were made unexpectedly.
Today, Andrew is always eager to greet staff, peers, and visitors to the program with a smile. He is best known around St. Coletta’s Rockville Adult Program not only for his creative writing and storytelling, but also his charming personality. Andrew now enjoys helping others, and he’s always making sure those around him have what they need.
Andrew has transformed because our adult programs provide a safe outlet for adults with intellectual disabilities to engage with peers and staff in a positive and supportive environment. Andrew could easily get caught up in writing his stories for hours on end, but attending the program provides him with the opportunity to express his creativity in a variety of productive ways, as well as socialize with a core group of friends.
The Future is Bright
Andrew is putting his newly discovered people-skills to use working part-time at a local CVS Pharmacy, with drop-in support from a St. Coletta job developer. When Andrew isn’t busy working off-site or writing, he can often be found practicing his weaving skills or packing and fulfilling an online St. Coletta Shops order. For Andrew, having a place to go every day where his creativity and talents are encouraged has had a tremendous impact on his confidence and overall demeanor.
At St. Coletta, our goal is to make a real difference in the lives of children and adults with intellectual disabilities. With your help, we are! We are giving individuals like Andrew the opportunity to grow and thrive.
Please help us continue to see possibilities beyond disabilities and donate today.