My brain-injured, non-verbal, intellectually/developmentally disabled daughter — now in her 40s — has been at Woods Services, in Middletown Township, since our school district placed her in what they believed was the most appropriate setting for her when she was only 7 years old. Then medical professionals, including psychiatrists and neurologists, told me to institutionalize her, preferably in a mental hospital.
They considered my child “hopeless.” But they’ve been proven wrong, and that’s because of Woods, located in Bucks County. I thank God every day that she is there. I’m so thrilled that she continues to make progress. She is still essentially nonverbal, and is intellectually disabled, with significant behavioral issues which are exacerbated by her inability to be understood when she tries to talk.
Throughout the years, I have watched Woods develop specialized treatment plans and programs, as well as train and place caring, loving staff that make my daughter safe and comfortable. She is part of a community that affords her the ability to have meaningful social interaction on campus and in the greater community.
My daughter is also absolutely delighted to go to work every day at The Woods Enterprises facility on its country-setting campus. This gives her a sense of accomplishment and self-worth that would be impossible for her to realize in a community job placement. Can you imagine how that makes her feel? And how grateful I am that she’s at a place that lovingly nurtures her, never loses hope?
This is why I’m so appalled when I read negative media coverage of Woods that paints a grossly distorted picture based on my own knowledge. It makes me wonder about the credibility of the accusers, their motivation and the failure to fact-check.
I can honestly say that there is no way that my child could be safely cared for in a community group home environment. They are not equipped to handle individuals with such complex conditions due to staff training, and the unacceptably high ratio of clients-to-staff with no backup due to the isolation of those homes.
Community placement might be fine for some who have the capability to live there, but campus settings like Woods are essential to provide the best care for the challenging people they serve. The public deserves to know the truth about Woods, such as I’ve observed firsthand over the past several decades. If you ever need to look for a specialized care for a loved one, I hope you take a hard look at Woods.