Couple opens residential home, dayhab center for disabled adults
By LYNETTE SOWELL
Beverly and Michael Wilson have seen a need in the Central Texas area for those who have adult family members with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
In October, the couple opened A Precious Place For Me (APPFM), located at 5102 Cinch Dr. in Killeen, where they have independent residential living community as well as a dayhabilitation center.
“We have three full-time residents right now; each of our homes has a capacity of three to four, by state guidelines,” said Beverly Wilson.
The center is a community-based housing program equipped for adults who have any number of intellectual and/or developmental disabilities, such as cerebral palsy, spina bifida, autism, Down syndrome, Wilson said.
Residents have attendants that are present when they are in the home, unless a resident is out of the home such as when they’re at dayhabilitation.
Part of the programs offered at APPFM is transportation for its residents, to include outings to the mall or other places like church or grocery shopping, regardless of the disability, said Wilson.
“We do field trips and outings. Recently we went shopping at Sam’s. One of our youngest residents has cerebral palsy and he was right there shopping too with everyone. There are no limitations.
In addition to the home and community-based services, APPFM also offers a “dayhabilitation” program.
“At our dayhabilitation center, we do life skills, socialization skills, education skills,” Wilson said. “We do gardening, arts and crafts, anything our clients really want to do.”
The dayhab is normally open from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m., but the Wilsons say the hours can be adjusted depending on family needs.
“If you go to work at 7:00, we’ll open at 6:00. We’ll accommodate for those parents who need us.”
Beverly said they have friends who have children with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and the Wilsons realized their friends had no options locally for their adult children.
“They couldn’t go to appointments, they couldn’t go on vacation, they couldn’t do a lot of things because you just can’t find someone to watch your child with IDD. And we looked at the community and realized there was not a daycare here. My girlfriend was telling me, there’s nowhere for these kids to go when they get out of high school. So they come home, and they become couch potatoes. But the parents want them to continue the education they got while in high school.”
Wilson said the adults also need to have a safe environment, whether that is as a resident or as a dayhabilitation client.
“They needed a safe environment. You can’t just leave them in any daycare, because sometimes they have a tendency to walk away. But our clients can walk the grounds and we have the ability to keep an eye on them without hovering as much.”
The Wilsons also offer respite care, such as when families must go out of town for a short period of time over a weekend, or even longer time such as on a vacation.
The Wilsons can be reached at APPFM office at 254-213-1917, and the center’s website will be up on Monday at www.apreciousplaceforme.com.