The Life Lessons I Learned While Working with Adults with Developmental Disabilities.

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Definition of Developmental Disabilities

Definition of Developmental Disabilities according to Wikipedia:

Developmental disability is a diverse group of chronic conditions that are due to mental or physical impairments. Developmental disabilities cause individuals living with them many difficulties in certain areas of life, especially in "language, mobility, learning, self-help, and independent living".

Working as a Resident Counselor

I was a nervous wreck the day I met Kathy and the rest of the gang. Fresh out of college, I had stars in my eyes. I was green as they come as a new upcoming professional in the Social Services field. I was hired as a Resident Counselor, working with adults with developmental disabilities.

I will never forget meeting the seven residents I would spend the next three years of my life with. Before the front door of the group home opened, I had such excitement but also worried I might not have what it takes to be a good Resident Counselor. Maybe they wouldn't like me, what if I couldn't connect with them? So many thoughts but something deep in my soul knew this job was going to change my life, and it did.






Kathy had a Special Place in my Heart

Each and every person I met became very special to me and made me a better person. I worked with "adults with developmental disabilities" but believe me, they taught me so much more than I taught them. Everyday, my friends lived and worked "life to the fullest." They were involved in so many social activities and events that most "typical" adults either take for granted or are too afraid or embarrassed to try. Each resident became like family to me but one special lady found a part of my heart that I never knew existed. It would be too difficult to describe all the wonderful attributes that made Kathy so amazing. All that really matters is that Kathy was my friend. We connected in a place that had nothing to do with mental capacity or IQ. We were two women that had a blast together and loved each other unconditionally. Our relationship was one of the most beautiful friendships I've ever had the honor to have in my life-time.

We loved singing songs in unison as the radio played our favorite tunes, giggling and ribbing each other. One of my favorite memories of Kathy is about Halloween. Every year we attended a Halloween party with staff and residents from other neighboring group homes. We all dressed up in costumes. I was always partial to dressing up as a scary witch. Kathy never let me live it down and would give me her beautiful smile as she called out my nickname of "witchypoo Linda." Whenever she got in a silly mood or just felt like teasing me, she would let out a loud giggle followed by my new name.

Sadly, Kathy lost a courageous battle with cancer a few years ago but I can still hear her proudly exclaiming, "Witchy Poo Linda." I will never forget her and the beautiful smile and spirit that made her so special

Have you Worked with Adults with Developmental Disabilities

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© 2011 Linda Rogers

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Comments 38 comments

Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 5 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

You have presented a lovely memory and tribute to your friend. I feel as if I know her. Bless you for that.


Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 5 years ago from Minnesota Author

Aww, thanks Hyphenbird-She was a wonderful woman. I really appreciate you reading my hub about her :-)


TheManWithNoPants profile image

TheManWithNoPants 5 years ago from Tucson, Az.

Beautiful memory my friend. It reminds me of something very similar in my life, and his was a very nice read.

I was wondering how you've been. (and your sis) Thanks for the smile!

jim


Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 5 years ago from Minnesota Author

Thanks for reading about Kathy, Jim. Sis and I are doing Great! I have been really bad about getting on hubpages lately. I've been spending a lot of time writing on other sites. I have to work on my time management skills. It is so great to hear from you. All is well here and I hope all is well for you too :-)


molometer profile image

molometer 5 years ago

What a lovely story of friendship.

We must cherish those few precious souls that we meet on this journey we share.

Voted up beautiful and interesting Witchypoo Linda so cool.


purp-drag913 profile image

purp-drag913 5 years ago from West Michigan, USA.

We could do with more friends with Kathy's spirit and purity... Wonderful hub.


Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 5 years ago from Minnesota Author

Hi Molometer and thank you so much for your nice comments. Oh, I loved you calling me

Hi Molometer and thanks so much for reading my story about Kathy. I just loved you calling me "Witchypoo Linda." It makes me smile and think of my sweet Kathy.


Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 5 years ago from Minnesota Author

I know purp-drag-Your so right about that. Kathy was one of a kind and the memory of her beautiful personality always makes me smile :-)


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 5 years ago from South Carolina

Hi Witchypoo Linda!

What a beautiful and inspiring tribute to your friend, Kathy, and it makes a particularly nice read being as it's almost Halloween. Will you be dressing up as a witch this year?

Sorry to learn of Kathy's passing, but am glad her spirit is still living on through you and that you're sharing it with so many others.

Voted up across the board except for funny.


Spirit Whisperer profile image

Spirit Whisperer 5 years ago from Isle of Man

A wonderful tribute that says more about you as a person and the very big heart you have. Thank you.


justom profile image

justom 5 years ago from 41042

Don't you just love those kinds of memories? Nice to read your hubs again, I haven't spent much time on here lately. Hope you girls and your family are doin' well! Peace!! Tom


b. Malin profile image

b. Malin 5 years ago

Women, such as yourself, Minnetonka Twin, in the Social Service Field can make it or break it. You Enjoy your Profession to the Fullest ,and it shows in this Wonderful Hub you have written about "Kathy". You know she is Smiling down... She made your life Rich and Rewarding, and you made her feel so Special and Loved. Thank You.


Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 5 years ago from Minnesota Author

Happyboomernurse-It's funny you ask me if I'll be a witch this year. I've been a witch so many times for Halloween, I can't even count. I have always loved pretending to be scary and do my witchy laugh. It's pretty good if you don't mind me saying. LOL Thanks so much for coming by and leaving such a nice comment. I can't be called "Witchypoo Linda" enough. I'm loving this :-) Kathy's spirit lives on with me and my hub buddies. Yae


Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 5 years ago from Minnesota Author

Spirit Whisperer-Thanks so much for reading my story and for your lovely comment. It means so much to be re-living the great memories of sweet Kathy and the rest of the gang.


Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 5 years ago from Minnesota Author

Hi Tom-It's great to see you here :-) I havn't been on as much as I use to either as I've been busy writing on other sites as well. I need to work on my time management skills because I love Hubpages and miss everyone. Sis and I are doing great and I thank you for asking. Thanks for reading my story, I appreciate it.


Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 5 years ago from Minnesota Author

Ok now b.Malin-Your chokin me up here with your sweet comments. There is nothing better than the helping professions. After this job, I was inspired to continue my education and go for my Master's degree. Thank you so much for taking time to read my story :-)


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 5 years ago from South Carolina

If you want a fun read about the meaning of wearing a witch costume on halloween don't miss Stephanie Henkel's http://hubpages.com/holidays/What-Your-Halloween-C... I would have posted the paragraph she wrote about "bad (scary) witches" but didn't want it to get tagged as duplicate content. However, it suits your paranormal sensitivities to a "spooky" degree! Have fun on Halloween and I'm sure Kathy will be delighted that Witchypoo Linda is still still making the rounds.


Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 5 years ago from Minnesota Author

Thanks HBN-I will check out the link. I appreciate it :-)


september girl 5 years ago

Memories are sometimes all we have left of someone who was special in our lives. Beautiful tribute to your friend. : ) Thanks for sharing this with us. Voted up!


Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 5 years ago from Minnesota Author

You are so welcome September girl and thanks for voting it up.


theseus profile image

theseus 5 years ago from philippines

Hello again MT. Nice tribute to a friend. I can totally relate to your story as my best friend is battling a battle of his own.

In the same way that I am cherishing every moment that I have with my friend while I still have him,the memories you have created with your friend Kathy will always remind you how blessed you both are to have the privilege of knowing each other and becoming a part of each others lives.God bless you.


Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 5 years ago from Minnesota Author

Theseus-I am sorry that your friend is battling something. You are a true friend to understand that every moment with him is precious and will be memories you will hold onto forever. You and your friend are in my thoughts and prayers. God Bless you too :-)


Rosemay50 profile image

Rosemay50 5 years ago from Hawkes Bay - NewZealand

A beautiful tribute to your friend

You created some wonderful memories together and although Kathy is no longer with you I know she is looking down on you still calling you Witchypoo Linda. These special people are sent for a while to touch our lives.


Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 5 years ago from Minnesota Author

Oh Rosemay-thanks for your beautiful and kind words. I do still hear her calling me "Witchy Poo Linda." She was one of God's angels on earth and taught me so much about life. Thanks a lot for reading my tribute to her :-)


stars439 profile image

stars439 5 years ago from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State.

Wonderful hub. And a lovely story of your past. God Bless You Dear Heart.


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom

What a wonderful tribute to Kathy - a very moving story of a very special friendship and love.

Thank you for sharing this, best wishes MM


Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 5 years ago from Minnesota Author

Hi Stars-Great to see you here. Kathy was a real blessing in my life and so are you dear friend. God Bless :-)


Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 5 years ago from Minnesota Author

Thanks so much for coming by Movie Master and I'm glad you liked my story about Kathy. She was one sweet woman.


Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 5 years ago from Wales

A great tribute and thanks for sharing.


Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 5 years ago from Minnesota Author

Thanks Eiddwen-I appreciate you reading about Kathy :-)


DeBorrah K. Ogans profile image

DeBorrah K. Ogans 5 years ago

Minnetonka Twin, What a marvelous refreshing tribute To Kathy! What a wonderful loving, harmonic friendship you two shared! This also says a lot to testity to the great heart the Lord has given you! The ability to love and respect those who are so often overlooked! Now you will always carry her in you heart! God Bless You!'

Thank you for sharing, In HIS Love, Grace, Joy, Peace & Blessings!


Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 5 years ago from Minnesota Author

Thanks so much DeBorrah-Kathy taught me so much about God's love :-)


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

VOTED UP AND AWAY....marvelous, touching hub about Kathy. I envy your talent, Minnetonka. So much. I am offering you my apologies for not being around more to read these great hubs you have written. I do apologize. My health is not getting any better and I was getting as many projects done in case I have to leave HubPages...this was the reason. I know. It's selfish. I am so sorry. But keep up your great writing. I DO VALUE you VERY MUCH, as one of my followers. I do. And I wish for You and yours, a Very Merry Christmas and a Peace-FILLED New Year. Kenneth


Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 4 years ago from Minnesota Author

Kenneth-You humble me by your kind words about my story about Kathy. I want you to know that you are in my thoughts and prayers that your health will take a turn for the best. God Bless you and your family this Christmas season.


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 4 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

Hello, My Dear Friend, Minnetonka Twin,

you are very welcome as it is all the truth. This story needs to be in serial-form....in short, a book! Great passages, phrases and descriptive verbiage. What a talent you are. And THANK YOU for thinking of me. That is so sweet and caring. God bless you and yours before, during and after Christmas.


Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 4 years ago from Minnesota Author

You are too kind Kenneth :-) I too will have you and yours in my thoughts all year round. Let's keep chanting, "good health, good health, good health..."


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 4 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

Minnetonka Twin, just being honest. I value YOUR friendship, following and talent so MUCH. I can learn from you how to make my hubs better. And the chant, love it. "Good health....good health...." Thanks, Kenneth


Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 4 years ago from Minnesota Author

Thanks Kenneth and I value your friendship too. Let's keep chanting my friend. Good Health, Good Health, Good Health...

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