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Todd's Journey with Devereux

“Todd has a great life at Devereux and we are very grateful! The staff are wonderful and have kept him safe, healthy and happy for all these years.”

As a young mother, I knew immediately that Todd was different from my other two children. He was unable to reach any of his developmental milestones. I tried repeatedly to tell our pediatrician that something was wrong, but no one would listen to me. We took him to numerous experts, but in the early 1970s, little was known about autism. Todd was labeled a “lazy child” who would grow out of his “slowness” and catch up with the other children his age. Of course, he never did. Thankfully, we never gave up and after years of battling doctors, teachers, and an entire school system, someone finally heard us.

Todd thrived at his private special education program and within a few years was doing so well that he was able to transition back to our local public school. As a teenager, he was a contented young man, very involved in the community, volunteering at Meals on Wheels, active at our church and working at a local variety store. Although Todd was always nonverbal, he was very friendly and outgoing, greeting everyone with a smile, a handshake or a hearty high-five.  Throughout childhood, Todd remained very close to his older brother and sister. John and Amy always watched out for their brother and included him in many of their activities.

As children do, Amy and John grew up and left home for college. We did not realize how traumatic this loss would be. Todd was heartbroken and really missed them. He refused to attend school or participate in any of his community activities. He would spend long hours staring out the window and have unpredictable, frightening outbursts and self-destructive episodes. We thought that Todd would always live with us, but John and Amy shared their concern that this was no longer the best situation for Todd. They believed that he needed his own independent life.

 We began to look for community alternatives and, after a long search, we were finally referred to Devereux. Within a short time, Todd moved into a new group home with three other young men. Within a few weeks, his negative behaviors decreased significantly and he once again engaged in activities. Todd has now called Devereux his home for almost twenty years.

Please consider making a gift to Devereux to help individuals like Todd and others access high quality programs and services that inspire hope, ensure well-being, and promote meaningful life choices.

Todd has a great life at Devereux and we are very grateful! The staff are wonderful and have kept him safe, healthy and happy for all these years. Todd recently required two hip replacements – surgeries that are incredibly challenging for someone with special needs. The nursing care that Todd received at Devereux was extraordinary. The nurses and behavioral specialists worked tirelessly with him carefully preparing him for each surgery, staying with him around the clock at the hospital, and coordinating the many weeks of rehabilitation. These experiences only reinforced our belief that Devereux is a truly unique organization that makes the impossible happen.

Todd has achieved a level of independence and success that he would not have had living with us. He works at Devereux’s employment center where he packages a variety of products, delivering golf tees to several area golf clubs, and helping with their recycling program. On the weekends, Todd enjoys Disney movies and outings. His favorite activities include going with us to our local airport to watch the planes depart and land, walking in the park, and eating at Burger King. Todd’s biggest smiles occur when he is with Amy and John and their five sons and daughters, who adore their Uncle Todd.

We feel so incredibly fortunate to have Devereux in our lives. We hope you will join us in supporting the outstanding work that they do each day for individuals like Todd. Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health cannot bring together compassionate care, industry-leading interventions, and family engagement without your support.  Public agencies, which fund our services, simply do not cover the cost of our advanced care and life-changing services. Please make your gift today by clicking here.

Thank you for helping Devereux to create some certainty in this uncertain world by supporting our mission to unlock and nurture human potential for people living with emotional, behavioral or cognitive differences.  

PS: Your gift to Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health unlocks human potential and is needed now. You have the power to help us nurture adults like Todd so that they may be the best they can be.

Bill & Sandy

Bill and Sandy Brinker
Devereux Parents