“They are my heart,” says direct support professional Debbie Rigsby. It shows. Debbie works with our Wrangler IIs and it is pretty clear she is theirs, too.
Wrangler IIs have more challenges than the Wranglers and need special attention and assistance. Some are nonverbal. “Our goal is always to help our clients develop as many skills and as much independence as possible. Some days are better than others, of course, but every day is a good day in its own way.”
The Wrangler IIs have had exciting opportunities lately, thanks to the generosity of New Danville friends. The weather wreaked havoc with scheduling plans for the new Catch and Release class where Wranglers get to fish (link to past article). For most of the summer, only Wrangler IIs had the opportunity to participate. While attention spans may be short, the joy is not on these expeditions. With staff members taking care of baiting hooks and removing the “trophy” bluegill of the day, the Wrangler IIs were able to enjoy the outdoors, serenity, and simple pleasures of catching fish.
“Anything we can provide that gives them a sense of independence, normalcy, and socialization is good. Every small step is a big win,” Debbie said.
When it comes to dancing — there is a lot of music enjoyment and dancing at New Danville — the Wrangler IIs enjoy the movement and socialization. Next to the assembly room that also serves as the lunchroom, dance hall, and movie theater, is a more quiet space for the Wrangler IIs to enjoy being part of the crowd but distanced from the noise and commotion.
Achievement matters. Every class and program strives to offer opportunities for achievement and accomplishment. Thanks to a recent contribution (link to story), the Wrangler IIs are using iPads with apps designed specifically for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. With them, they are enjoying the successes of coloring, playing games, communicating ideas with icons, and much more.
“My mentor told me years ago,” said CEO Eva Aguirre, “that all joy is equal. The joy the Wrangler IIs show with every success reminds me of his words from many years ago. They epitomize his wisdom.”