Anthony aka “AJ” has been part of our ILS family for less than a year. He transferred from our SLS program as he chose to reach for more independence. I first met AJ back in 2007 in a group home. At that time, AJ went by the nickname “Flip” because he was so active and playful, and of course the play on his name. He wasn’t about the run-of-the-mill games either; he would create his own, like abducting the broom for hide and seek while on ransom for anything chocolate! AJ had an incredible way of delighting all who knew him by his very few words, gestures, and giggles, as at the time he was nearly non-verbal. AJ eventually moved out of the group home to live with his family for the first time since he was a small child.
In 2020, we meet again! He was in SLS for a long time until he notified his team that he didn’t need so much support and that he wanted to do more on his own. He then joined ILS. Through this time, AJ has maintained a part-time job, managed his money, accepted the full responsibility of his home, and thoroughly adopted his very own lifestyle. This year, AJ requested again to reduce his ILS service hours by more than half as he has adapted his routine, built on his skills, and taken so much pride in sharing all of the things he is doing independently.
AJ loves video games, anime, movies of all kinds, and most of all, Legos! AJ has a dream to go to Lego Land in San Diego! He is working diligently with his ILS Life Coach to save money and make a plan to go sometime within the next year or two. AJ is a shining light with the most contagious smile. It has been a true pleasure to work with him and watch him grow in so many ways. I look forward to what is to come!