Puzzle Pieces gives our family a feeling of peace and comfort knowing that our teenage daughter is in a place that she is included, accepted and engaged in every sense of the way. It’s a place where her being in a wheelchair isn’t a barrier that prevents people from approaching her. It’s a place that we know that every need she has is met ranging from physical, social, vocational and more. It’s a place she looks forward to going and misses when she’s not there. It’s people she loves and cares for and they love and care for her in return. Puzzle Pieces literally offers purpose and quality of life to such a special group of people. Puzzle Pieces has become a partner to us as parents in assisting in providing our daughter the best possible world for her to live. - Sara Abell, parent
2 years ago, my son finished high school. I say "finished" because he was not able to receive a diploma, only a certificate of completion. So after high school, he had a job at a restaurant that he trained for in school, but they gave him fewer and fewer hours. Meanwhile, there are so many hours in a day and only so much a family can do to keep an autistic person busy. The structure he had in school was all gone. So, when Puzzle Pieces opened it was an answer to many prayers. I work part-time and my husband full-time. It is such peace of mind to bring my son to Puzzle Pieces while I work. It not only helps me, but mainly it gives my son a reason to get up in the morning, self-esteem from doing jobs there, and probably most important: social time with others instead of being isolated at home. - Trudi Laumas, parent
My brother Charlie has been attending Puzzle Pieces for over a year. He attends two days a week and absolutely loves going. Attending Puzzle Pieces has given him an opportunity to participate in so many activities, like art projects, recreational activities, and field trips. Above all, he has developed friendships that have become an ongoing source of joy and meaning in his life. My family has a peace of mind, knowing that he is not only happy while attending Puzzle Pieces, but he is in good hands. - Donna Howard, sister
Puzzle pieces has been a lifesaver for our family. My husband works nights and I work during the day; therefore, we needed a place for our daughter to go. Puzzle pieces offers recreation time, craft time, and game time. Our daughter enjoys her time there tremendously. THANKS - Faye Klee, parent
As a parent to an autistic child, I am so thankful to have a resource like Puzzle Pieces available for my son. Puzzle Pieces provides a safe environment for him to learn and grow, while also enabling me to work without worrying about his care. Having Puzzle Pieces as a resource has certainly given the both of us more independence in that sense. I can see based on my son’s behavior that Puzzle Pieces is improving my son’s emotional and physical health resulting in an improved quality of life. I can’t say enough about the people or the program and strongly encourage any parent of a special needs child to come and meet with the staff and to see for yourself how your family’s life can be enhanced by using their services. - Annette Tapp, parent
I dreamed big. I wanted two kids, a big career, a nice house.....That's what I thought I wanted. When Alex was born, he was 6 weeks premature but he showed us early on that he was a fighter. He came home from the hospital on time and grew and developed with leaps and bounds. Our baby boy was a dream come true. At 12 months, our little man was saying big words that a child his age shouldn't be able to say.....then it faded. My sweet and cheerful little man became withdrawn, sullen, and could not talk any more. Not hardly a word. More like grunts and pointing. What had happened to my perfect child? I have come to realize my child is perfect. He is perfectly Alex. Since his diagnosis at 2 years and 8 months of age, we have pushed Alex into ever program and therapy that we believed would help him achieve success and independence.
I will never forget the day I meet Amanda Owen. She was at the first Annual Special Needs Fair held at Lewis Lane Baptist church. Alex was and still is a member of Buddy Ball so we were invited to attend. I saw her information booth and started talking with her. She told me that her spots were almost full. I sat the kids down and filled out an application right then and there. I could see the determination in her eyes that these children and adults with developmental disabilities be given a place to feel comfortable, build self esteem, and implement social and life skills.
We participated in the first Puzzle Pieces walk and there was talk about the center opening the following September. It seemed to be good to be true. This great of a center in Owensboro? But it happened!
Alex has shown not only improvement in social areas but also in behavior since being at Puzzle Pieces. He thrives in the environment and tells his teachers each day at the last bell at school, "I am going to Puzzle Pieces!" He has met and actually calls one little boy his friend which is a huge step for my child who does not socialize with children his own age.
Puzzle Pieces is one of the biggest blessings we have in our lives and we are grateful for all that they do for our child as well as other children and adults. You hold a piece of this mother's heart every day, my Alex. Thank you, Puzzle Pieces for loving him like we do! - Stephanie & James Snyder, parents