My name is Barb Truchon. My 52-year-old son, Greg, receives services from the Huron County Board of Developmental Disabilities (what many people have always known as Christie Lane).
When Greg first entered the public school system in the early 1970s, special education was just being developed and educators were still trying to figure out the best way to teach students with disabilities the life skills they’d need as they got older. Greg seemed like every other child on the outside but he still struggled in many ways.
After he graduated from high school, he worked for 17 years loading trucks for a local company but lost his job when the expectations changed. He was able to do repetitive tasks but couldn’t handle a lot of change in routine or job duties and he couldn’t do work that involved using a computer. We helped him to get a job at Target, but soon realized that he needed more support at home and we certainly needed help dealing with things like Social Security and Medicaid benefits. We then contacted the Huron County Board of DD/Christie Lane and he was assessed and connected with their program.
I believe that Greg continues to hold his job at Target in large part because of the people at the Huron County Board of DD. With their support over the past 11 years at home and at work he has flourished and come into his own. He has an apartment, drives a car, is able to cover his day-to-day expenses with the combination of his earned income and Social Security Disability and has Medicaid to pay for his medications and treatment. I don’t think he’d have the same ability to live independently and make his way in the world without the enormous help the Huron County board staff has provided, working with Greg and his family through every situation.
One thing that has been hard over the years is that people have questioned why Greg is involved with the Huron County Board of DD. He lives alone, has a job, likes to read the newspaper and share articles with other people and is very friendly and easy to talk to. He seems just like everyone else. It’s important for the community to understand that not all disabilities are easy to see and they’re certainly not all the same, but there are many people out there — just like Greg — who need help to do things that the rest of us sometimes take for granted.
The people at the Huron County Board of Developmental Disabilities have made a huge difference in Greg’s life and ours. It’s just so comforting to know that we’re not in this alone and that when I’m gone, there will still be someone here looking out for my son.