My name is Alvin Nicholas Mineart, Jr. Everyone calls me Nicky. I am 23 years old; my birthday is in March, and I live in Columbia, Md. Self-Directed Services has been a life-saver for me!
When I was in school, I did everything: classes, after school sports, school activities, and work-study. My employer wanted me to return after I finished school. But my transition from high school was a disaster. I was turned down by 11 day programs because they could not help me manage my Type 1 Diabetes—as the school system had done so successfully. I had to wait over a year until I was approved to join the self-direct waiver. Because of the delay my Mom had to change her work schedule so she could support my medical needs. That year was filled with lost opportunities for both of us. And I lost my independence, my identity, and my job. I missed my rich community life. It was depressing—for me and my family.
In SDS, I am FREE again! I am regaining my identity and my independence! SDS has been the miracle I need to be ME—to work and to rejoin my community! Two essential aspects of my SD program are my regular exercise regimen and the staff training and oversight I receive from my delegating nurse, who visits me regularly. Both exercise and my delegating nurse are particularly important in helping me to control my diabetes—and to avoid its life-threatening consequences.