We recognize the need for a robust wellness initiative that supports both the physical and emotional health of people health of our community. Our objectives not only address weight, diabetes and smoking, but extend to living a healthy life with friendships, spirituality and strong self-esteem. The ultimate goal is to improve the overall well-being of people with developmental disabilities and their families. We see each individual who has a disability as a whole person, with needs and goals that include – but also extend beyond – his or her disability.
People with developmental disabilities, including Autism and Asperger’s disorders, experience certain unique health concerns due to neurodevelopmental, sensory and motor issues. However, they also experience may typical health issues that can be frequently missed or overlooked due to their disability. This is a phenomenon know as “diagnostic overshadowing,” when someone’s disability can make it difficult to recognize underlying medical or mental health problems they are suffering from.
The guiding principle of our health and wellness initiative is self-direction. We believe that an individual must commit to wanting to change his or her life – we don’t impose that change on a person. Our role is to support personal goals and help create lasting change. Yes, blood pressure and healthy weight are important, but the true success of our health and wellness services are measured through the positive balance of the minds, bodies and souls of the thousands of individuals we support.