Family Pleased with Positive Changes in Meadowview’s Jason Page
Jason Page loves to go to the movies, feed the ducks near his home, dance to his favorite music and volunteer for Meals on Wheels.
On the other hand, he does not like last-minute changes in his routine or being surprised.
When Jason became a resident of Meadowview group home in May 2016 becoming familiar with his likes and dislikes was a concerted effort by the staff. Not long after becoming a Meadowview resident, Jason also began to participate at the Campus Park Drive day program in Monroe. Each location provides programs for persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD).
Developmental Specialist Alether “Dee” McKay was paired with Page in December of 2017. “He has to process what is going on – no last-minute changes or surprises. There is a big difference between then and now for Jason,” she said of his steady progress and personal improvement.
Jason, 44, who is primarily nonverbal, was diagnosed as a young boy with bipolar and autism spectrum disorder. Tall and thin, Jason can typically be seen wearing his favorite baseball hat and sunglasses.
McKay points out that Jason’s positive growth is a joint effort: “We try to work as one, like a big family and get it done. What we do is challenging. You have to have strong staff working on their behalf. Some days are difficult,” she said of selecting the most appropriate course of action for the people we support.
Staff has searched diligently for what works best for Jason, much to the delight of his mom, Debbie. Jason’s structured routine includes photo boards of various daily tasks and a calming sensory box filled with sand and small objects.
His mom remembered when her son didn’t look or act as vibrant when he first arrived at Meadowview in 2016, having lived in another group home. A long-time resident of Michigan, he moved closer to the Charlotte area in 1994 to be near his father, Michael. She has “before” and “after” pictures to remind her of the impressive strides her son has made since receiving Monarch services.
Debbie remembered how the Monarch staff asked what her hopes and goals were for her son. “I want my son to be paid attention to, to be happy and to be safe,” she remembered answering. “The fact that he now looks happy and healthy. There aren’t enough words to describe how he looks in photos now.”
Grateful for the help her family has received from Monarch from both the Campus Park Drive and Meadowview staff as well as Peggy Terhune, Jim Kelley and Dr. Robert McHale, Debbie now feels confident anticipating a bright future for her only child: “Their work with Jason has given him a new lease on life. I know no matter what, he is going to be OK,” Debbie said. “I feel like he is not sitting in the corner. I feel wonderful that he is involved in the community.”
Debbie believes that Jason paired with McKay has been key to his continued improvement. “Dee advocates for Jason. She is the best combination for Jason. She is confident and outgoing. She has done so well with him. She knows what he needs.”
Jason and his father had a routine of spending every Saturday together. Michael passed away in December 2017 with his only son taking the loss quite hard. Staff arranged for grief counseling for Jason to help him adjust to the loss of his father. Mom continues the tradition of taking her son on weekly outings to his favorite restaurants and stores.
Debbie explained that her son now calls Meadowview “home” which he shares with five other housemates and wants to return when his family outings are over.
“Jason having somewhere he can call ‘home’ has given me more joy and peace of mind that I ever thought I could have. I can sleep at night,” Debbie remarked. “Jason is happy when I come to get him. He says, ‘I want to go home’ when he goes back to Meadowview. That’s how he feels about living there.”
Photo caption: Jason Page loves to wear his favorite baseball caps.