At a recent Seguin Wish Upon A Star awards gala Dony'a Scott was honored as a "Shining Star" for his improvement and successful transition to a CILA home in the Chicago area. A former Jacksonville Developmental Center (JDC) resident, Dony'a moved to his new home in May, 2012.
"He felt so happy," said his mother Gwendolyn Jones when Dony'a was presented with a crystal plaque. "It was really nice."
Times weren't always so good for Dony'a, who lived at home with his family until age 22. The 25-year-old has autism, mental retardation and explosive behavioral disorder, along with several medical problems including high blood pressure and pancreatitis. At 5'8", Dony'a was overweight at 320 pounds but has since lost 80 pounds.
"His behaviors were dangerous for us," said Gwendolyn who lives in the Chicago area with her husband Donald. They have four other children. "He used to beat us up and tear the house apart and put holes in the walls. He had medical issues we could not control."
The family sought help from ADA S. McKinley and received funding for Dony'a to live in a CILA. He ended up in the hospital for several months before Trinity Health Services assisted with placing Dony'a at Jacksonville Developmental Center in November, 2011.
Though it was four hours away from home, Gwendolyn says his improvement began at JDC where they were able to get him in a routine and stabilize his medical issues. When JDC closed, IDHS and Seguin developed a personalized plan and assisted with moving Dony'a into a CILA home in northern Illinois where he now lives with three other roommates. His new home is only 20 to 30 minutes away, so he can come home more often.
"I am very happy with his placement. He goes to Seguin programs and they are managing his medications. He is happy and is doing the best he can do," said Gwendolyn. She credits much of his success to Seguin's well-trained staff.
Gwendolyn said she hopes Dony'a can develop a skill and be able to work for someone and be a productive citizen.