For the past 12 years, Sharon Blankenship has been a client here at LifeROOTS and a familiar face in our Day Hab program. Those who have come to know Sharon through the years have been thrilled to notice a major turnaround in her life over the past two years – as Sharon has made some incredible strides. In fact, according to her mother Helen, over the past two years she’s excitedly watched her daughter grow and thrive, noting “She’s a whole new person – it’s like she’s alive again!”
With the help, patience and dedication of the LifeROOTS staff, Sharon’s transformation has been nothing short of remarkable. Where she previously was an “outlier” – working one-on-one with a single staff member 5 days a week and not showing any interest in anything other than her usual routine (and rarely even looking up to acknowledge another peer or staff member who she wasn’t familiar with), over the past two years she has undergone a dramatic change. Now, the young woman who was once seemed to have walls that surrounded her is integrating with her peers during group projects, cooking classes and holiday parties – and, where she used to always ride alone in a van with her one-on-one staff member, she has now integrated with her peers while riding in a vehicle. No longer scared in new settings and environments or expressing aggression at anyone who came into her space, Sharon is now attending numerous outings with her fellow peers and has made it a point to integrate and become social inside of the community. In fact, in addition to attending a number of out-of-town outings and becoming a regular customer at JB’s diner, she recently also attended her first baseball game – enjoying every moment of this momentous occasion to the fullest!
What amazes people the most – especially those who have not seen her in a few years – is Sharon’s overall personality now, and the range of emotions and affection that she displays. The young woman who once rarely communicated and showed no emotions is now communicating her likes and dislikes on a daily basis – making recent holidays and special events even more special for her parents by working with LifeROOTS staff to select and create her own cards and presents for her parents. Sharon’s incredible progress over the past few years has not only made birthdays and holidays for her family all the more special, but has made every day seem like a true gift for all those who know her.
According to Sharon’s parents, the past two years have been two of the best years of Sharon’s life. At LifeROOTS, we couldn’t agree more – and we join with her parents in not only being thrilled for all that Sharon has accomplished over the past few years, but excited for all that the future holds for this special young woman.