High school graduation is an exciting time, representing the transition of a child to a young adult. Universities are visited, career choices determined, and a new independence from family begins.

For a student with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), and aging adults, the path is much different. Graduating from public-school at the age of 17/18 and possibly a transition program within the public school realm at 21 begins a time of loss and uncertainty. While their classmates pursue additional education and job opportunities, most young men and women with IDD simply go home. Although home may be a warm and loving environment, the availability of stimulating engagement is very limited. This inherent isolation frequently results in a loss of communication and social skills.

The transition is difficult for parents as well. Caring for their child full-time while they work or help with their aging parents is exceptionally difficult. There is also a financial burden. Whereas part-time jobs and student loans allow non-disabled graduates to pursue post-secondary education, these are not options for individuals with IDD. Some adults with IDD do receive public-funded benefits, but many do not. And although benefits are helpful, they only provide approximately 25% of the funds required for a quality program.

Texas Ranks 49th Among All States in Efforts to Serve Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

Meeting the Need

Out of the need for an impactful day program, Big Hearts was created by Ellen Robinson a concerned special education educator and compassionate supporters. 

We welcome an opportunity to tell you more.

Big Hearts!