The journey from childhood into adulthood has been long and sometimes difficult for 20-year-old Nick. He has cerebral palsy and left-side paralysis as the result of a traumatic birth, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and Tourette syndrome. Even so, these challenges have not kept him from growing into an accomplished and confident young man.

“Nicholas is my grandson. Your staff is well aware of the difficult times he has experienced in his lifetime. I usually speak with Nicholas weekly. Last week we were talking about his program at the May Center School. This is what he told me, and I believe you will be proud of the good work you are doing with him:

“Mimi, I wish this school was here for me years ago. I am learning like I knew I could. I know my behavior is a big issue, but I’m working on this. Coming off the medication is helping me, I think clearer. I can now do some math, which I need to learn to take care of myself if I am ever on my own.”

Now if that doesn’t blow one away, nothing will. We are so proud of Nicholas.

My daughter and Mark are wonderful parents. They have devoted their lives to Nicholas’s care, always seeking what was best for him. Fighting many obstacles, including people who do not understand. A special needs child also deserves the very best in healthcare and education. Having worked in the field of autism — my degree is in social work — I always knew there had to be a better learning environment for Nicholas. He has found it.

Before closing, I must share with you one lovely part of his brother’s wedding day. Each time I spoke with Nicholas in the months before the wedding, he would talk about how Jaclyn would be a beautiful bride, and how his brother Ryan was going to be very happy being married. Then he would add, “I hope I can be married one day.”

It was wonderful to witness Nicholas at his brother’s wedding. There was a lot of dancing, but at one point no one was on the floor. Nicholas got up and began to dance! Family and friends were so surprised, and then the guests joined him. Soon the dance floor was full, and those who stood were cheering Nicholas on. Yes, he was just as good as the other dancers. He certainly surprised all of us that he could dance. He was presenting himself as an adult — a teary moment for sure.

Your staff is providing confidence for Nicholas, that he is able to achieve goals. A huge thank you for his care along with his education.”

- Shirley Wilmoth



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