I first approached Advocates in the hope of securing residential supports for Ryan*, a then 30-year-old individual who suffered a traumatic brain injury as a teenager and for whom I had recently been appointed as a successor guardian. At the time of my appointment, Ryan was receiving residential services . . . , and I was very unhappy with the 24/7 staffed apartment model that had been put into place many years earlier by his former guardian prior to my involvement in the case. I know intuitively that this arrangement was not a good one for Ryan and that the restrictiveness of this arrangement was depriving him of many opportunities for growth.
To say that Ryan’s life has been changed as a result of Advocates’ involvement . . . would be an understatement. When I first met Ryan, he was confined to his apartment . . . , and he had virtually no independence whatsoever. He had no control over personal or financial decisions. He was isolated, depressed and without hope.
Fast forward to January of 2013 and Ryan is now living independently with limited supervision from Advocates staff, about to graduate with a degree in culinary arts from Massasoit Community College, commuting to and from school, church and social engagements independently, budgeting his monthly expenses and partially managing his own finances. He has support when it is needed but independence when it is not. He is now an engaged member of his community, one who still struggles with the effects of his [traumatic brain injury] but at least now is optimistic and excited about his future.
*Name has been changed to protect the individual’s privacy.