Meet the Malcolm family, Doug and his parents, Laurie and Bill. His father was cousin to Florence Malcolm, one of the founding members of the association that became what is known as Community Living Cambridge today. Florence was a teacher at William Anderson School for children with developmental disabilities. She became the first president of the association.
Doug first became involved with Community Living Cambridge when he finished high school and began the program at what is now called the Franklin Centre. Doug attends the Franklin Centre five days a week and his favourite program is the cooking class.
In speaking with Laurie, Doug’s mom, their experience with CLC has been a godsend right from the beginning and the timing has somehow always worked out just right. The last few years have been especially trying on the Malcom family with growing health issues within the family. This made it especially important to Laurie, to have Doug settled.
Last year Doug became withdrawn, and often segregated himself from others, retreating to his room. Even when his sister came home for visits with her husband, Doug would only spend a few minutes with everyone before heading back to his room. Again, the timing was perfect, Laurie got a call that there was an opening for Doug at the Blair Road group home just when they needed it.
Doug has known the other residents at Blair Road for years, as he attends Franklin Centre with them and besides working together, they are his friends. Doug moved into Blair Road in January, and it is quite evident he loves where he is. When he goes home for visits, he is outgoing and participates in conversations now. Laurie can’t believe the difference in her son. She says, “It’s nice to have him home and enjoy our time with him.” At one point she suggested Doug take his ipad to his place so he has something to do in his room when he wants alone time. Doug’s response speaks volumes, “Alone time? I don’t need any alone time, Mom, I’m with my friends!”
Laurie is confident Doug is in good company with his friends, and the Blair Road staff. It is evident they all enjoy each others company and she hasn’t seen Doug happier. He loves living there so much so, that sometimes when she invites him to come home for dinner, he’ll pause for a moment and suggest they just get together for coffee; he doesn’t want to miss a meal with his friends. Laurie relates, “His experience living there has been wonderful, there hasn’t been any apprehension whatsoever.” It is wonderful to see Doug happy and settled.