Monday, June 17, 2013
Community and Socialization Resource For People With, Without Disabilities
The UAA program Youth Advocates Community participates in social service projects across the community and has helped to make Ian Miner's life more enjoyable.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, nearly 10,000 babies born in the United States will develop cerebral palsy, a disorder that affects a person’s motor skills.
For many parents who have children with this disorder, it can be challenging to find resources for families like the Miner family.
Ian Miner, 19, was born premature, had a stroke and later developed cerebral palsy.
“We never knew from one day to the next whether he would be alive, and that was hard to live with,” said his mother, Mary Miner.
He’s now a senior at Service High School and says his upbringing was pretty normal, except for his social life.
He says he’s always known he’s not like others.
“I think people with disabilities have a hard time getting to know other kids, because they're different,” he said.
But life has gotten easier. Last year he underwent a major surgery to help with his reoccurring seizures.
A program at the University of Alaska Anchorage called Youth Advocates Community has also helped make his life more enjoyable.
“I was a little bit scared at first meeting new people,” he said.
But once he got over the initial fear, his group of friends grew to others his age.
The YAC program participates in social service projects across the community along with social events for people with or without disabilities.
“I feel like I’ve been more involved in the community,” he said.
And for his mother, it’s a program where her son can shine.
“He is truly a grace and a blessing, and just the way he sees the world and for other people to experience that is a gift,” said his mother.