A blog dedicated to my older brother and my personal research on his diagnosis: Severe Intellectual Disability (commonly known as Severe Mental Retardation) and Cerebral Palsy, and any related resource on the topic of developmental disabilities.

This blog all begins and ends with Doug.

My older brother, Doug (26), is the greatest influence in my life. After attending a parent meeting held at his day program, (one of the first geared towards educating families about the current services for people with developmental disabilities), I realized how little I knew about my brother’s disabilities and the state laws that affected his daily life and impending future.

I wasn’t alone. Every parent and guardian sitting in that room was lost.

  • How can we ensure the financial security of our children?
  • What happens to my child after he turns 13? 18? 21?
  • Who controls the coordination of applications that will eventually match our child with the proper day program and group home?
  • Why have our OPWDD applications gone ignored after all this time? 

An overwhelming sense of helplessness seemed to fill the room. Aging parents and aging children.

When it came to this issue, I had always felt alone and lost.

“What can I do?” I thought.

The answer?

Educate myself. Educate my parents. It’s a small step, but it’s a beginning to greater mission.

I hope this blog becomes a resource for even one person who has ever felt this way.


Alena S.Y.

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