Special needs program director speaks to Lebanon Noon Rotary Club

Jacob Smith • Sep 26, 2017 at 5:30 PM

Laura Swanson with Prospect Inc. spoke to the Lebanon Noon Rotary Club Tuesday about how her organization serves special needs adults.

Prospect Inc. is an organization dedicated provide help to people with disabilities to help them achieve the best lives possible.

The organization will celebrate its 50th year of service Wednesday.

“Individuals who have disabilities are very much underserved, not just in this community, but all over,” said Swanson. “We have been serving the community since Sept. 27, 1967, and we were incorporated with five parents and family members of individuals who have disabilities, because they wanted more for their children and families.”

Swanson spoke to the club about some things the organization does to help people with disabilities live a life like anyone else.

“We do a lot of things at Prospect, and one of the things is we learn,” said Swanson. “Early intervention is for children ages birth through 5 who have a 25-percent delay in one area or a 40-percent delay in two areas. We have early interventionists who work alongside children who help them to play. We provide skills and supports to help their parents or caregivers either overcome those delays or give them some tools to help cope, make adjustments and to help improve their lives and give them some more independence.”

Early intervention isn’t the only thing the program does, though. It also provides adults with disabilities assistance to lead normal day-to-day lives.

“The school system takes over and provides services up to age 21. After 21, they come back to us,” said Swanson. “We are able to provide support until whenever. We have a supportive employment program that allows individuals support to go out and find a job. If you’ve ever been bored for an extended period of time, it doesn’t give you meaning; it doesn’t give you purpose. We need a sense of purpose, and we need a sense of belonging, and that’s what we do at Prospect. We give people belonging.”

For more information on Prospect Inc., visit prospectinc.com.


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