A [Sibling’s] Guide to Advocacy – Down Syndrome and Alzheimer’s

Bill was born in 1960, the youngest of 9 children. He grew up in a small town where he was readily accepted and nurtured by family and friends. He attended kindergarten at the local elementary school and then transferred to a regional consolidated educational cooperative called BOCES, where he remained until age 21. Bill began work with a paper route and eventually worked part-time at a florist, where, under the tutelage of a kind and caring “boss”, he thrived. When the florist closed permanently, Bill worked part-time at a local fast food chain. He remained at home with our Mom until his early thirties. As our Mom aged, she was encouraged to facilitate Bill’s move to a nearby Group Home, a very difficult transition for her and a much easier transition for him.

Bill then worked in a Sheltered Workshop. He prided himself in looking neat and clean; he enjoyed music, dancing, word searches and bowling. He looked forward to a frequent haircut, a good cup of coffee and his paycheck. Bill loved to travel and be “on the go”. After the death of our Mom, he was able to make short unaccompanied airline flights to visit regularly with his extended family. Best described as a warm, friendly, social fellow with a quick wit, Bill generally found joy in life.

Read the rest of Bill’s story here…

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