Children birth to age 3
Physically Disabled nec
The FIT program utilizes a family-centered, early intervention approach in meeting the needs of children, from birth to three years of age, who have a developmental disability or have been identified as being at risk of having developmental delays.
Therapists provide services in the family's home. Services include Speech and Language Therapy, Occupational Therapy and Early Childhood Education. Toddlers graduate or "age out" of the program on their third birthday.
The influence that the FIT Program has on the lives of the families enrolled is illustrated in just one of our many success stories. Laradon's FIT Program team began providing services to Paula's two year old great granddaughter, Sierra, when she was four months old. Sierra was born almost two months early due to prenatal exposure to drugs and alcohol and without her mother receiving any medical care before her emergency birth. After over a month in the hospital, she was released into Paula's care. Sierra was a very fussy infant who had trouble eating, sleeping and gaining weight. She had many episodes of her entire body shaking violently, alarming Paula.
During the weekly home visits through the FIT Program, Laradon's Occupational Therapist (OT) showed Paula positioning and infant massage techniques to help Sierra become calmer and more focused so she could eat, sleep, and begin to gain weight. The OT also shared fun ways for Paula to help enhance Sierra's overall development, such as tickling and singing games during bath time. The OT was able to provide parent training handouts that were especially designed for adults with low literacy levels. In addition to supporting Paula in learning ways to help Sierra function better on a daily basis, Laradon's OT helped Paula access community resources and fill out forms for benefits to help improve her financial situation. Sierra is now a happy, healthy toddler who never walks when she can run. She is learning to talk and her favorite words are "hug", "no", "mine", and "puppy". Paula has officially adopted Sierra and her brother and often states how grateful she is for the help she received from Laradon.
Children ages 5 to 21
Disabled, General or Disability unspecified
The Laradon School offers state-of-the art academic and behavior services for school age children from birth to 21 years of age, with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
The Laradon School is accredited by the Colorado Department of Education as an Eligible Facility School. The Colorado Department of Human Services licenses The Laradon School as a Day Treatment program. All teachers and service providers are certified and licensed professionals who strive for a comprehensive understanding of each student through conscious and careful study. Person centered thinking is first and foremost, which highlights our belief that all students are capable of learning and establishing and maintaining social relationships.
Referrals are received by Laradon through the out-of-district offices of Colorado public school districts. We provide a curriculum that utilizes a functional approach to teaching academics, life and vocational skills as well as providing the mental health services and behavioral support the students require. Therapeutic services include psychology, both individual and group, music education, Speech and Language Pathology, Occupational Therapy, Adaptive Physical Education and computer technology. Once students reach 21 years of age, or return to the public schools, they graduate. The goal for each student is to return to their home schools within 3-4 years of receiving services from Laradon.
A few years ago, Mario had frequently high behaviors at his home school that got in the way of his learning, risking his own safety-and that of others. The 13-year-old has a developmental disability that sometimes caused frustration and aggression when he felt unable to communicate his needs.
After working with Laradon's highly trained behavior specialists, Mario has made many strides. He can now go several weeks demonstrating safe behaviors; he no longer expresses anger by destroying property at school. In fact, Mario has been celebrating many academic successes, including growth in reading, writing, and math.
His teachers are thrilled at Mario's progress and are preparing him to transition back to his home school to learn among his peers and let his fun personality shine.
"Mario has come a long way with Laradon's help. He's made great improvements and has excelled academically." - Bob Elskamp, Laradon Special Education Teacher
Adolescents/Youth (13-19 years)
People/Families with of People with Developmental Disabilities
People/Families with of People with Disabilities
People/Families with of People with Psychological Disabilities
This therapeutic program, offering the highest levels of individualized care, is designed to assist youth and their families to resolve social, emotional, and behavioral problems so they can return to their home or community. It provides 24-hour residential services to youth ages 11-18, who have identified intellectual or developmental disabilities. Once at Laradon, staff perform assessments to develop behavioral intervention plans designed to reinforce appropriate behaviors.
Blind & Vision Impaired
Laradon's Adult Day programs utilize Laradon's expansive Denver campus, as well as a broad variety of off-campus community sites to provide learning opportunities, skill-building activities, as well as self-sufficiency building activities. The overarching goal of this department is to develop meaningful and on-going social relationships, promote independence in all aspects of decision-making and daily living tasks, as well as to explore new opportunities for learning and growth through all stages of an individual's adult life, regardless of their developmental disability. Specialized programs in this department are designed to accommodate and support specific challenges an individual might face as they strive to achieve their full potential.
Most of us take for granted something seemingly simple like choosing the direction in which we travel. For Evelyn, the act of making those decisions and getting herself where she needs to go is extremely empowering.
Evelyn uses an electric wheelchair to get around. She needs to improve her dexterity in order to use the controls. This is a goal that Evelyn has identified that is important to her, with the support of her Laradon team.
Support staff have discovered that Evelyn learns similar skills while engaging with adaptive technology and sensory equipment in Laradon's new Learning Center.
"We find it beneficial to bring Evelyn to the Learning Center because the iPads actually help her use her wheelchair better. The technology requires the same principles to use," said Romey Manzanares, Laradon Program Employee. "Plus, Evelyn enjoys it!"
Laradon staff supports Evelyn to identify her own goals and support her to get there. It's this person-centered thinking that differentiates Laradon and helps Evelyn, and many others, succeed.
Blind & Vision Impaired
Laradon's Community and Employment Services (CES) Department offers a wide variety of services that are tailored to fit individual employment and community inclusion goals of adults with developmental and other disabilities. Participation is based on the needs and choices of each individual.
Work programs focus on skill acquisition, job search and retention. The focus of community participation is volunteer work and involvement in other valued aspects of community life.
Individual Employment Program:
The Individual Employment program provides support and training to adults with developmental disabilities or any other disabilities to obtain and maintain employment in the competitive labor force.
These services are provided to participants on an individualized basis and vary depending on their need for support. Job Placement Assistance matches individuals with their employment goals. Laradon's on-site job coaching ensures that outside employment requirements are met. Laradon's continued guided support structure ensures both the potential employee and employer maintain satisfaction and ultimate success.
Ticket to Work Program
Laradon serves as an approved Employment Network (EN) under the Social Security Administration's Ticket to Work program. We provide a wide range of services, including Work Incentives Counseling to Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) recipients who want to return to work or who have already returned to work and need information and assistance managing their benefits and maintaining their employment.
Laradon Work Teams, or enclaves, are crews of hard working individuals seeking employment opportunities in the Denver Metro community, supervised by Laradon staff members.
Work Teams provide competent, willing and dependable workers whose talents and skills ensure successful and timely job completion. Laradon provides ongoing supervision at the community work site. Classes and facilitated group discussions occur each day prior to start of work.
Many individuals who aspire to work in community jobs will benefit from specialized instruction to learn the skills and habits that will assist them to acquire and maintain steady employment. Laradon's Prevocational Services provide structured classroom training in these skill sets, plus a variety of on and off-site career exploration activities. Prevocational Services are offered as part of the Community Participation Vocational program. Participants may choose to combine prevocational instruction with participation on paid work teams.
Laradon's Community Participation programs cater to the individual with developmental disabilities who is looking for social and leisure activity plus an opportunity to give back to the community by volunteering. Sites for volunteering and social activity are plentiful and varied. All provide rich and meaningful experiences. Classes and facilitated group discussion occur each day at the base site, prior to leaving for locations throughout the community.
Program participants choose the types of activities they would like to participate in and what proportion of their time is spent on those activities. For example, an individual might be interested in volunteering three days per week and engage in a social activity only one day per week.
When one has the opportunity to earn a paycheck - and experience the pride that comes with it - it's a quick path to independence and self-sufficiency. Laradon's Employment Programs help people find meaningful work opportunities in individual or group settings and support them with job skills, training, and on-site job coaching.
Michael's job is a particular accomplishment for him since his anxiety disorder and uncomfortable spinal condition, called cervical dystonia, makes it extremely difficult for him to interact with others.
When Michael first came to Laradon, he was shy, and mostly kept to himself. His spinal disorder was akin to wearing his heart on his sleeve; any time he felt uneasy, it would cause his neck muscles to contract and contort his head.
In Laradon's Work Teams Program, Michael had the opportunity to work with Laradon's specialists who helped him explore various work and volunteer opportunities. These experiences helped him work on skills, but also showed him what could be possible.
With the help of Laradon, Michael began participating more and talking to his peers. His Laradon job coach showed him how to take the bus to TJ Maxx. He also learned new tips for communicating at work and managing his anxiety. As a result, he is a hard, helpful, and proud worker.
He wants to live on his own and someday find a career working with horses. His job coaches at Laradon will continue to help empower him to make his dream a reality. "My favorite part of my job is getting paid on payday. It makes me happy and proud."- Michael
Laradon's Adult Host Home program provides individualized living situations to participants who can benefit from living in the private home of a family or individual. Participants enjoy living in a family setting, engaging in community activities and sharing household responsibilities. Host Home Providers create a caring support system and assist the individual with personal care, meals, finances, medical appointments and community connections.
Independent Host Home Providers contract with Laradon to provide comfortable and healthy environments that are appropriate to a participant's needs. Providers view the positive capabilities of the individuals in their home and help the person have a normal a life as possible. Providers help to assist with medication administration, health and medical services, domestic skills, personal hygiene, money management, recreation, leisure and community involvement. Laradon provides consistent training, monitoring, consultation and support to providers and the participants in their care.
Laradon's Community Living Programs provide a host of services and support in order for individuals to live in the community. Whether independently or with the support of a Host Home provider or Family Caregiver, individuals benefit from a caring support system.
For most of her life, Erin Bargman lived with her grandmother, but as her grandmother's health worsened and she had to be hospitalized, Erin was left wondering what would happen next. Erin's grandmother had already put things into motion to help her find a good home after she died. When she found Laradon's Host Home Provider Program and Terry and Christin Frasier, they knew it would be a good fit.
After Erin's grandmother passed away, Erin moved in with the Frasiers. Albeit a difficult transition for Erin, she was welcomed as a part of the family. For a while Erin was very sad, and didn't want to do much. One day at dinner, Terry asked Erin what she wanted to do with her life. Erin replied, "Terry, I think I want to live on my own." - and that has been her goal ever since.
The Frasiers have been instrumental in teaching Erin the necessary life skills to live safely and independently. At home and at Laradon, Erin is learning to cook, clean, do laundry, go shopping, and handle money. She's currently working on writing her own grocery list and going shopping on Saturday mornings.
Erin also began working with Laradon's Employment Program. Her job at The Arc Thrift Store, helps her continue to develop social skills, manage life's tasks, engage with the community, and earn money. Erin is an inspiration to her peers and we have no doubt she will meet her goal of living independently! "As soon as we met Erin, we knew it was the right fit, right away." Terry Frasier, Host Home Provider