Local afterschool program finds student's talents and skills, helps him pursue dreams

When he was younger, Jake was diagnosed with an intellectual disability and ADHD. As a result, the development of his social skills has been limited. In August of 2017, he was enrolled in The Arc's Afterschool Program and upon his arrival had numerous altercations with other students, struggled with impulse control and was frequently non compliant when asked to perform his daily tasks. 
The staff at the program noticed that Jake enjoyed manual labor tasks like cleaning, organizing, making small repairs and assembling furniture, so they began asking for his help when those items came up. Jake has helped out at the program doing small jobs like hanging curtains and big ones like revamping the facility's playground. Jake is extremely responsible when working and takes his jobs very seriously. He eventually wants to work in the construction industry.
With the support of his family, teachers and the staff at The Arc Afterschool Program, Jake is learning to communicate more effectively when a disagreement arises, has developed skills to control his impulses and is more congenial with the Afterschool Program staff and his teachers. Jake is also learning to express himself when he has had a difficult day at school. 
Seeing growth in Jake has been remarkable for the staff at The Arc as well as his family. Jake is making tremendous progress and has a goal of attending vocational training to learn the essential skills he needs to accomplish his dream of becoming a construction worker. With continued support from The Arc staff, his family and his teachers, we know his dream will become a reality.
The Arc of St. Lucie County provides year-round after school care for children with intellectual and developmental disabilities, ages 5 through 22. These programs offer supervised interactions with positive adult role models who provide guidance and support in an environment where students are respected and can "be themselves", giving working families a safe place for their special needs children to go while they work.

Additional services provided by staff can include screening assessments, educational/tutorial assistance, recreational and community awareness activities, transportation and nutrition services. The program operates Monday - Friday, from  1:00pm to 6:00pm. To learn more about services offered by The Arc of St. Lucie County, visit their website at www.arcofstlucie.org.