Posted by Sandy Slavet
I live in the Yellow House in Norwood. I moved in on Aug 16, 2010. Before I moved to the Yellow House, I lived in Randolph with my mom and dad. I wanted to move because I wanted to have more responsibilities, to be more independent, and to have friends to talk to and hang out with. It was fun at home with my parents but it's easy to talk about things that people my age like to talk about at the Yellow House. My parents don't really care about Miley Cyrus, Big Time Rush, and Salina Gomez but I do and now my friends at the Yellow House do, too. I like going out with my housemates on weekends and I like learning to cook and do laundry. I am getting better at doing things without as much staff help. I miss my parents but I get to see them a lot and now I think I get to have the best of both worlds.
When my oldest daughter went away to college, it was hard for Joe and me but we had three more daughters to fill up our home and our lives. Then our second daughter moved away, then our third, but we were lucky because we still had Marie at home. Then we learned that a new JF&CS program would open in Norwood: a program that seemed perfect for Marie. Joe and I were not ready to be empty-nesters but Marie was ready to follow in the footsteps of her sisters. We knew, like her sisters before her, it was time to let her go. The Yellow House is only 11 miles from our home but for Marie it is a whole new world and we are grateful and proud that she is settling in so nicely. The program is a great match for Marie: she enjoys her housemates and thinks the world of the staff. Knowing that Marie is doing so well makes this transition easier (though certainly not easy) for Joe and me. Marie is not exactly "on her own" but she has certainly taken a giant step forward and it is a blessing to watch her become such an independent and competent young woman.
Sandy Slavet has been the director of the Disabilities Resource Network (DRN) of JF&CS since it began in May 2001. Sandy also serves as the Jewish Life Coordinator for CHAI and CHAI Works, co-leads Chaverim Shel Shalom and Chaverim Chaim, and is the Human Rights trainer for CHAI and CHAI Works consumers. In addition to being Marie's mom, Sandy is a nationally certified ASL Interpreter and has had many years experience working with deaf adults and children and with people with a wide range of disabilities.