The Soares Family: At Day Habilitation, the most important skill is friendship

Adult male wearing a football jersey sitting in a recliner.Jamie joined KDC at one and a half years old, as a toddler who used a walker so that he could take steps with assistance. His mother, Tracy, describes Jamie as a child who often struggled to make friends and express his feelings to others.

More than 20 years later, Jamie is a regular at KDC’s Day Habilitation (Day Hab) Program in New Bedford. He walks unassisted, communicates with his peers, and has formed relationships with other Day Hab participants.

“He has friends, for the first time in his life,” said Tracy. “We call them the three Js: Jamie, Josh and John. He begs to come here each day. As a mother, that is the most amazing feeling. My son is genuinely happy, every single day.”

Tracy has valued KDC from the very beginning. Jamie started in KDC’s Early Intervention Program and transitioned to KDC’s Special Education School at the age of three.

“When he graduated from KDC’s School, I knew I wasn’t moving him away from KDC,” said Tracy. “I have no trust leaving him with anyone else. I have trusted KDC since day one and they have not let me down, not once in over twenty years. KDC is his family. They are extended family to us.”

Tracy describes Jamie’s future as being filled with endless possibilities. “He amazes me every day,” said Tracy. “They are always changing the curriculum here to doing different things with at Day Hab, and I see the results of that at home. I am so proud of all Jamie has accomplished while at KDC.”