Angie met Noah when he was 3 years old. An orphan in Bulgaria, Noah was bright, energetic and spoke fluent Bulgarian. He showed no signs of any delayed development. Angie and Noah bonded immediately, and she knew Noah was destined to be her son. Once back in the States, Angie soon noticed that Noah was not progressing as well as other children. Thinking it was the language and cultural barrier, she continued to watch him closely as he grew. At age 7, she had him tested and suddenly, her life changed dramatically. Diagnosed with intellectual and developmental disabilities, Noah, now 13, functions on a second grade level.
For Angie, it was surreal. New doctors, medicines and therapists entered her world. Noah’s emotional stability became a roller coaster ride. She realized, as most parents with special needs children do, that life could be overwhelming at times. Angie did not have any direction or a plan to help Noah become successful.
She called The Arc of San Antonio for help.
Raising a child with special needs is a rewarding opportunity but it can be also be a daunting task. Not only do parents worry about the short-term future, they worry about their child’s future as an adult. Heather Long, case manager for The Arc, works with Angie to connect her to resources that Noah needs to be successful. Most importantly, Heather showed Angie how to prepare for Noah’s future after high-school.
“When I felt like I had nowhere to turn, I found The Arc,” said Angie. “I felt like I wasn’t alone anymore.”
Noah, a caring and tender teen, is making progress. He participated in our summer teen program and quickly established himself as a leader. He was co-captain and spokesperson for Team Up 4 Pets, a project to feed pets of home-bound seniors and homeless people. The project, led by The Arc’s teen club, won a contest sponsored by the Silver and Black Give Back Foundation.
“Being a part of a project made Noah very proud,” said Angie. “It gave him a purpose and it gave him value. It made him feel worthwhile … more than anything that has
happened in his life.”
The Arc of San Antonio provides services to help children and adults with disabilities and their families. Through life enrichment programs and case management services, The Arc provides one of the largest continuums of care in Texas-focusing solely on the needs of the individual and their families.