James plugs his ears and hums while Levi, another resident, does the same thing on Nov. 11, 2014 in Rush, N.Y. The boys do this as a method of keeping themselves calm when they start to feel stressed.
Eleven-year-old James (last name withheld) lives in a Mary Cariola Childrens Center residence for intellectually disabled children in Rush, N.Y. Jamesí parents come to visit him and take him home for short periods of time but James lives full time at his new home. James has been adjusting to this new family and home, which comes with some hard times for James, but his father remarked that, ìJames seems like heís happier now (since moving to the residency)î. His particular diagnosis is being withheld for privacy reasons as are his and his father's last name. The last name of his care givers were withheld by the Mary Cariola Center.
Priscilla assists James in doing his laundry Nov. 15th, 2014. The staff members at the home work under the "activities of daily living" in the hopes that by developing these skills the children can become more independent and move into a less restrictive setting upon adulthood.
James has difficulty figuring out a stacking exercise, even with the help of a staff member. Normally, James uses a book of images to communicate with the staff to tell them what activity he wants to do.
Jackie gives James a push down a small slope during a group visit to Mendon Park in Mendon, NY on Nov. 21st, 2014. James made it down the slope once before trying to take his coat off. Because he took his coat off, James had to stay in the van for the remainder of the time at the park.
Jing helps to tie James' shoes in the Residency Nov. 12th, 2014 Rush, N.Y. The staff show and help the children at the residence to do everyday tasks in order to help them become more self-sufficient.
James holds Tomís hand while getting a haircut in Fairport, NY on Nov. 14th, 2014. ìEvery time it gets a little easierî , says Aprile who has been cutting Jamesí hair for two years. ìEvery time he trusts us a little more.î
Mark, Jamesí father, takes him to McDonalds to get cookies and soda for good behavior at the hair salon in Fairport, N.Y. Nov. 14, 2014. This is Jamesí first opportunity to spend time with his father since he moved into the home three weeks earlier. "James used to love getting up and going to the grocery store with meî, his father said. ìBut he started liking it less and less as he got older. I guess itís just a 11 year old boy thing.î
Tonya scratches James' back after getting him to still down Nov. 24th, 2014 Rush, N.Y. "He doesn't sit still for long" says Jing.
James plays a game with Jing while waiting for the school bus to arrive on Nov. 28th, 2014.
James laughs to himself while using an exercise ball on Nov. 15, 2014. The ball is one of the few tools the staff use to keep James busy.
James hugs staff memberJackie after coming home from school on November 19th, 2014.