When the clock hits 12:30 on a Monday afternoon, you’ll find Ryan in a cooking lesson with his peers. Part of Elim’s transition program, this activity practices food preparation skills important for Ryan as he prepares for the next stage of his life as a young adult.
In class, Ryan and his peers work together to follow whichever recipe their teacher, Ms. Lauren, picked out for the week. After Ryan passes the recipe out to the group, they begin the steps, one by one. Ryan readily volunteers for steps like putting the pan in the oven or measuring out ingredients into the bowl.
For Ryan, participating in this group instruction is a big indicator of his growth over the last few years. Though very social, Ryan had trouble being around peers or staff who he did not already favor. When Jessica, began working with him 3 years ago she noted that he was not yet equipped to handle those frustrating situations successfully. But today she shares that his progress since has been incredible.
Now, Ryan is doing a great job of communicating “I need a break” when he finds himself in un–preferred situations. By practicing self-advocacy, he is becoming more comfortable in group situations – a huge win that he continues to build on.
AN ADMIRED FRIEND
Lauren shares that Ryan is a joy to have in class. He loves to dance and create artwork in recreational theraopy. Ryan has a fondness for inside jokes and loves to laugh, so much so that Lauren shares that she often can’t help but laugh along with him. He even is a great athlete, with one of the fastest mile run (13 minutes!) in the Pathways group.
“Ryan is so charming, he has a magnetic smile and energy, and he is very intelligent.” Lauren gushes. “I could say so many great things about him!”
A TEAM OF SUPPORT
No matter what goal he is working toward, Ryan knows that at Elim they have a supportive team helping him each step of the way. Each staff member on his team works hard to help equip him with the skills he needs to thrive.
Each week, Ryan works to find productive ways to manage his frustrations. He practices communicating his wants and needs with Elim staff. He gains pre-vocational skills when he ventures out on a community-based outing, and he’s learning daily living skills with Jessica at his side.
Jessica shares, “Ryan is one to really want to try new things on his own, and he never stops surprising me with what he does. From my perspective, I can’t ask for anything more than being independent. I am really proud of him.”
Each person is uniquely made in God’s image, and Elim’s educational programming enables personalized plans for the success of each individual student. Each of these programing efforts come together to support our students in the special way that Elim does, thanks to your support of our mission.