Sam had a difficult start to life. He was a forceps delivery necessitated by getting stuck in the birth canal. He was slow to hit his developmental milestones. But it did not become apparent that there may be a problem until after being in a Montessori school for several years. He was having difficulty relating to the other children and tended to play alone. His reading and problem solving skills were significantly delayed. His motor function was also delayed.
After a year of regular kindergarten it was decided that he would do better in a specialized school for learning disabilities. He underwent testing and over the course of the next several years carried multiple diagnoses including sensory integration disorder, non-verbal learning disability, anxiety disorder, Asperger’s disease, and central processing disorder. All of these had a component of diminished executive function. He was treated with multiple forms of therapy including physical therapy and occupational therapy.
Abstract thinking was nearly impossible.
But he was in an environment that was supportive and caring both at school and at home. Over time he came out of his shell and became more interactive with other students. He also began to do better in school. He graduated from the Crosland school and although he struggled greatly with math and science he learned that he liked history. Civil war history became his passion. He developed an interest in sports especially the Carolina Panthers and UNC basketball. He found he had a talent for trivia of sports and history.
In 2016 he enrolled at the Riverview School in Cape Cod Massachusetts and over the next two years completed their program learning life skills and basic job skills for differently-abled students. The initial transition was very difficult. But the faculty and students helped him through it and he ultimately adjusted well. He developed some strong friendships at school and thrived in the job training classes. His self-confidence improved. But the cold weather and New England Patriots fans proved to be too much for him and after graduation he returned to Charlotte. His friends scattered back to their homes or next living situations.
Sam loves to work and given clear and concise guidance he will work diligently at his job. He is very reliable. He has worked in mechanical equipment in a local hospital in Charlotte since his return home and loves his work. He is well liked by his co-workers but has still had difficulty meeting friends outside of work. He looks forward to becoming a resident of Possibility Place.