This CAC Corner blog was written by Consumer Advisory Council Family Representative Dena Marriott.
The Center for Persons with Disabilities at Utah State University has been part of my son, Matthew’s and my life since his elementary school years. Matthew started having seizures before he turned two and began having signs of Autism at four.
Although we lived out of state at the time, I brought Matthew to Primary Children’s Medical Center in Salt Lake City, UT. When we moved back to Logan, UT, Matthew was able to see his neurologist, Dr. Joel Thompson, when he came from Primary Children’s to the CPD for a clinic through the Utah Children with Special Health Care Needs. It was such a blessing to have our appointments so close and I knew Matthew was getting the best care possible.
When it was time for Matthew’s post high education, I was thrilled to know that he would be attending the Peer Program at the CPD. At the Peer Program, Matthew’s reading comprehension improved, along with his handwriting. He learned money and shopping skills and worked toward taking the GED. He got job training and had a job coach with him at his job sites. These included U-Star, USU Bookstore, The Marketplace, Honks, and his last and favorite, The Museum of Anthropology (at USU), where he did data entry.
Before transitioning out of the program, Matthew was hired to be an office assistant for Gordon Richins, Consumer Liaison at the CPD. Every week Matthew looks forward to the day he gets to work with Gordon.
Someone once said that we never know all the people who have worked and sacrificed on our behalf. I know this is the case at the Center for Persons with Disabilities. Matthew and I are truly grateful!