That one phone call has forever changed my life. We came home from the hospital a month later and had our appointment for the ACDS team to come in. I met a very special lady that day, Jane Shimkin, who has changed my life in more ways than she will ever realize. Her smile and empathetic (not sympathetic) way assured me that everything was going to be okay. And from that day forward it has been. There were tears of joy and fears of the unknown during Devin’s first year of life but ACDS was with us all the way. There were cards sent, phone calls made and shoulders to cry on provided to us.
Home base services started as soon as we came home. The therapists lived every moment with us. The first roll over from belly to back, the first spoken word and the first step. They guided us and supported us through our transition into school.
Devin soared through EI and the pre-school program. I was given many opportunities to come in and do parent participation. The more I was in the school, the more I realized I needed to be more a part of this agency. I decided to apply for a position as Director of Day Care. Three years later here I am.
I always knew they had the expertise at ACDS to help our children develop and grow and I always said what an amazing place it was, but once I got inside I realized it really is a” little piece of heaven.” You see ACDS is not just about our children. It is about our children, our spouses, and everyone else that is involved in our child’s life. It is about our children’s delicate beginnings, their middle years and their adult years. They start with us as infants, they guide us through EI, They support us through the scary transition into kindergarten and they provide amazing programs for the Five plus families and for adults.
Without the amazing teachers, aides, therapists, administrators, maintenance crew, support staff, principal, executive director and PTO, ACDS would not be the outstanding place that it is. We are always striving to be cutting edge and offer the best possibilities to the children.
When I give tours to my prospective parents I am honored to tell them they have found a ‘little piece of heaven” in ACDS. I can say that as a parent and as an employee. Our children are given every opportunity to soar. Our typically developing children get the joy of understanding diversity and our special needs children are looked upon as equals. If we could translate what we do here to the entire “outside” world it truly would be heaven on earth. I will be forever grateful to ACDS for providing the warmth and encouragement I so desperately needed when I first walked through those doors. I am so happy to know that Devin will have this “family” with him for a lifetime.
Mary Lynn Dinu
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