Employee Profile

Far Reaching Impact

Many of the staff at Liberty ARC directly impact the lives of the people they support every day. Laurene Taft of the Family Support Services program is just one example.

employee-profileLaurene has been working with a child named Pennie for over two years. Pennie is a 12 year old girl with autism. She has a very short attention span and a reported regression in her abilities from her teachers at school. Recently though, Pennie’s skills and interest in learning have markedly improved thanks to Laurene’s patience and persistence.

In an effort to try and help Pennie with her schooling, Laurene began taking her to the Amsterdam Public Library. For months, Laurene would engage Pennie through puzzles and reading. She read to Pennie and encouraged her to point at pictures and colors in the books as she read as well as assisting her in completing puzzles.

Recently, Pennie’s family had a meeting at her school.  The news they received was in every way shocking. The school reported that Pennie had an extreme increase in her attention span and could now sit for reading and library activities with her classmates. Laurene’s hard work and dedication had paid off. Now, the school was able to use the skills Laurene taught Pennie in her alternative assessment for state testing.

Pennie’s mother was ecstatic with the news and stated, “…they would have struggled to find a real improvement in anything had it not been for Laurene’s effort.”

While Laurene may have thought she was simply doing her job, the skills and opportunities she has given to Pennie will be an invaluable asset to her growth and development as she continues her education. It is a great example of the positive impact our FSS staff have on the individuals we support and their families.