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Special Tree Support Services Help Voc Clients to 'Test the Waters'

As clients progress through Special Tree’s vocational training programs, many have developed strong work-readiness skills for community-based employment but haven’t put them to the test to make sure they’re ready to successfully get and keep a job.

That was the case with Paul, a vocational client since 2009, whose goal was to obtain a job as a dietary aide.  According to Special Tree Vocational Counselor Tara Forster, one way to gauge if clients like Paul are ready to work in the community is through natural support work experiences at Special Tree’s NeuroCare Center.  “With housekeeping, laundry, and kitchen service work available, it’s a win-win approach that allow clients to test out their work-readiness skills without a job coach,” she said.

Residential Outing Leads to Emotional Reunion for Client

motorcycle reunion

Special Tree has a fabulous reputation for helping clients achieve the best outcomes possible. But sometimes an outcome turns out to be bigger and better than a client could ever have imagined.  That’s what happened to Keith M., a client at our Riverview location, who was enjoying a night out with staff on April 13th as part of his Quality of Life (QOL) goal when the unexpected occurred.

Keith’s goal was to have a steak at Outback Steakhouse and then shoot some pool.  QOL goals are based on a Quality of Life Survey that every residential client takes at the beginning of the year to identify three obtainable goals they would like to accomplish to enhance their quality of life.  Residential House Managers and their staff, plus any other representative involved (case manager, guardian), help each client to accomplish at least one goal, but ideally all three, over the course of the year.

Spotlight on Success: Aaron's Story

 

When Special Tree’s Vocational Arts Program began in 2014, client Aaron L. was skeptical about participating. He’d always wanted to try painting, but worried that he couldn’t hold a brush steady due to severe hand tremors that resulted from a brain injury he sustained in 2008. “I wasn’t sure what I could do.”

But all that changed when Aaron finally worked up the courage to give it a try. “I really surprised myself by how much I love to paint,” he said. Program coordinator Ed Meese, who is also a professional artist, showed him techniques for controlling the brush and also tricks of the trade to draw straight lines. “Ed made it easy to figure out how to paint.” Aaron paints twice a week in Special Tree’s art studio, but also spends many hours painting on his own and researching future works. “I enjoy it because it eases my mind and helps me focus.”

Patient is Back on the Airwaves with the Right Mix of Supports

We’re so proud of Kevin, aka DJ Polo, who is back on the air at FM 98 WJLB, Detroit’s top-rated hip-hop and R & B station, after a long recovery from a brain injury he sustained in 2011.

For many Special Tree clients like Kevin, returning to work is an important part of the rehabilitation process.  Whether it’s returning to a former profession, exploring new jobs in the community, or developing job skills in a supported work-environment, Special Tree supports our clients’ employment goals with a wide range of vocational rehabilitation services that are customized to meet their specific needs, interests, and skills.

George's Story

George G’s song began when he took an interest in music at just five-years-old, and that song has been with him ever since.

From church to school, George played his trumpet everywhere. He was devoted to the instrument, and when it came time to select a place of higher learning, he enrolled at the University of Michigan, managing to enter the competitive Michigan Marching Band. All the while, continuously scoring high grades towards his Aerospace Engineering degree.

One day, in the summer of George’s freshman year in 2011, the music stopped.

Life's Too Short

Jasper
Many thanks to our client Jasper who shared this inspiring post from his personal blog at https://www.specialtree.com/sites/default/files/blogger_importer
 

Patient's Got Game

After a year of rehabilitation, Josh is back at college and working hard to conquer the court once again.
 

Play Ball!

My Story

By Stephen McConnaughey, Outpatient Client

Patient Celebrates Hard-Won Achievement


NCC Outpatient Case Manager Beth Smith will never forget the message she received from her patient Donna G. that made her smile from ear-to-ear. "Hey Beth, I passed my GED!" Although Donna’s message was brief, the call was three years in the making.