50 Faces of The Arc- Patrick

Patrick attended The Aurora School (a year-round school for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities) for the past eight years and graduated this June. His program director, Maureen, describes Patrick as a genuinely happy student who is extremely hard working. Maureen says,

“He loves being productive, and isn’t happy if if he’s not getting something done.”

While at Aurora, Patrick’s favorite activity is sorting beads and markers by colors– which he can do all day. Maureen notes,

“Patrick is also an excellent speller, and he likes playing different crossword and wordsearch apps on his iPad.”

Patrick is so good at spelling he’s even learned how to communicate with others through writing out a word or spelling out each letter if they can’t understand him, something he learned how to do all on his own.

Throughout the years of attending Aurora, Patrick’s learned to become more flexible with abrupt changes in his schedule. He’s also learned how to take turns, like when playing board games, and has become more social with his peers. Some of Patrick’s current goals include: learning to identify whether a clothing item is acceptable to wear (if it’s clean or dirty), taking inventory of the cleaning supplies he uses, and staying on track for all his tasks (with minimal guidance from his instructors). Five times a week Patrick goes on CBI (Community Based Instruction) trips which allows him to take the skills he learns in the classroom out into the community. Patrick either goes to the yoga studio where he cleans and takes inventory, the Giant grocery store where he picks out different items from a list, or various restaurants where he is able to practice ordering food from his iPad. Maureen says,

“The support we [The Arc of Loudoun] provide through these activities significantly increases success of students like Patrick.”

Furthermore, Maureen believes The Arc is so important to the community because the staff are able to teach important life skills to students who are in an impressionable part of their lives. Maureen states,

“This campus is so unique, and we’ve become the model for what other people want to emulate.”

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