Brenna began attending the Center for Human Services Garlich Activity Center (CHS-GAC) in October 2017. Her family wanted her to have a safe place to spend her day that offered both a caring environment as well as opportunities to increase her independence. Brenna has a one on one staff, Marsha, who supports her daily to get involved in any activities in which Brenna wishes to participate in. Both CHS staff and her parents are attentive to her needs and give her options to go shopping, visit Union Station, eat out and other preferred activities. In her leisure time, Brenna enjoys listening to music, relaxing and watching movies with her family and friends. Since attending CHS-GAC Brenna has increased her participation in activities, communication, friendship building and being out in her community and engaging in appropriate vocal interactions. Marsha not only provides support for her during activities but also helps advocate for Brenna based on her needs and wants.
Brenna continues to show improvements as she actively engages with others. Brenna is non-verbal, so staff and friends must pay close attention to her facial expressions and body language to know what she is communicating to them. She will look towards you for yes and away for no for instance. She has a great sense of humor and will often laugh, smile and clap her hands when she finds a situation or a statement funny. Brenna has made several friends at the activity center that she will greet with a smile and on occasions may even reach out to touch their hand.
Donovan, Brenna’s father shares his thoughts on CHS involvement with his daughter “Before Brenna was born, like most parents, we would try to imagine what our child’s life would be like. Nothing could have prepared us for the challenges God had in store for her or us…nor the blessings. Brenna has taught my wife and me as well as our friends and family far more than we will ever be able to offer her in return. Lessons in patience, fortitude, resilience and an appreciation for the little things in life, like hugs, are offered daily…we just need to take the time to listen. The Garlich Activity Center personnel and Brenna’s personal aide not only listen to her but also make the accommodations to best meet Brenna’s needs. As a parent of a special needs individual I feel fortunate to have access to a facility like The Garlich Center right here in my home town of Sedalia, but more importantly, as a father I’m very grateful that my daughter is accepted with open arms every day by smiling, caring individuals.”