DDD Member Flourishes, Looks Towards a Bright Future
Joseph is a senior at Arizona Virtual Academy. As part of an English class assignment and a goal of his Individualized Education Program (IEP), Joseph wrote an autobiography. His former DES Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD) Support Coordinator, Dawn Kaufman, was impressed with his writing. Even though science is his favorite subject at school, Dawn said, “He did such an awesome job putting it together… He wrote the piece on his own and selected the pictures.”
Joseph has been part of the DDD family since 2003, starting with the Arizona Early Intervention Program (AzEIP). He received speech, occupational and physical therapy services provided by DDD. Today, Joseph enjoys taking walks and in his spare time, likes to go fishing with his father. (Their favorite fishing spot is Parker Dam--but it’s a secret.) Joseph’s top priority is to graduate from high school. He then hopes to work with his father in “building, yard work [and] painting.”
To learn more about this incredible young man and his future, please read Joseph’s autobiography (below).
Hello, my name is Joseph
I was born on January 5, 2002 at Flagstaff Medical Center in Flagstaff, Arizona. I was born at 32 weeks and I had to spend a month in the NICU. My parents name is Samantha and Adelbert. I have two sisters name Kimberly and Jasmine. I was born with Cerebral Palsy. I walked the first time on my own at age of 4 years old. I spoke for the first time at 5 years old. Before that I used sign language and a device to speak for me. By 6 years old I had 5 surgeries on my eyes and 2 surgeries on my right leg. I caught my first fish at 6 years old and I was really excited about it. I have been in therapy since I was 15 months old. I have done Speech, Physical, and Occupational therapy once a week.
I’m a dedicated student. I make sure that I go to all my classes and do my work. I love to follow the rules in school and in life. That is very important to me. I enjoy helping others. It makes me feel good about myself. I feel that you should always be polite to others because that is the way I hope they would be with me. I love to go walking with my parents. I enjoy fishing with my dad. It is very relaxing.
I have big goals for my future. The most important for me is getting a high school diploma. I have worked so hard for that. I want to work with my dad and learn new job skills. My ambition is to have a job and learn to live on my own. In the future I desire to have a wife and family. Thanks so much for taking the time to learn about me.