‘It’s been good for all of us’

 
 

Since she started attending the Gathering Place, Michele Rammell’s world has opened in a positive way.

 

When the bus arrives to take her to the Gathering Place in the morning, Michele Rammell giggles and claps her hands.

“She just loves to go,” said her father Kelly Rammell.

Since she began attending the program in June, Michele’s days have been filled with bowling, going out to eat and spending time with new friends. It’s been a big step for the 25-year-old.

“It’s been good for all of us,” Kelly said.

A resident of St. Louisville, Michele is on the autism spectrum and doesn’t use words to communicate.

After graduating from high school, her step-mother Deborah Rammell, cared for her at home.

Working with the Licking County Board of Developmental Disabilities, the Rammells were able to fence in their yard, so Michele could spend time outside safely. Her days were filled with visiting family and spending time at home.

But when rules changed regarding the number of hours of care Michele could receive at home, her family began considering other options so they could continue working..

Their family was very concerned about Michele’s safety attending a program that would allow her to be out and about in the community. But when they visited the Gathering Place, they felt more comfortable.

Michele started attending the program a few days a week, with her family providing transportation. But she was having such a great time, they decided to send her five days a week, using the Gathering Place’s bus.

Michele especially enjoys going to different parks, going to restaurants and getting her hair and nails done at the Gathering Place. But she’s also had the opportunity to try totally new things, such as traveling to Amish country.

Since she began attending the Gathering Place, Michele has started signing more to tell people there what she wants. When she gets home, she rocks less and seems more engaged.

“I think she was bored before,” Kelly said. “I was really leery about sending her somewhere, but when we had to make that choice, it’s been a blessing in disguise.”

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