Five people's faces from the nose up. Looking up at text that reads Second Annual DSP of the Year.

During his five years serving as Hayden’s Direct Support Professional, Josh has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to Hayden. Josh takes a very personalized approach to helping others. Hayden, like all young adults with autism spectrum disorder, faces a variety of challenges. Josh helps Hayden, but also helps Hayden’s family understand autism spectrum disorder. Josh is very knowledgeable about Asperger’s and can discuss Hayden’s wide range of questions – anything from religious history to Star Wars. Hayden loves spending time with Josh and has come to view him as an older brother. He feels safe to talk to Josh about girls, peer pressure, and other life stressors – topics he doesn’t always initially share with his parents. Josh is great about keeping Hayden’s confidentiality but also encourages Hayden to include the family in the dialogue. Hayden’s mother stated that one of the reasons the family nominated Josh is because he is constantly looking for ways to provide Hayden with new experiences.

“There is no way you can cookie cut what Josh does because it is a different experience for Hayden every time and that’s why he loves to spend time with Josh,” Hayden’s mother said.

Josh is Hayden’s role model and has taught him the importance of high morals. He has encouraged Hayden to stay away from drugs and alcohol and Hayden wants to be a better person because of Josh. He has worked with Hayden to make attainable goals in life and has followed through by doing something fun together when a goal is reached. With the help of Josh’s encouragement, Hayden graduated high school this spring and plans to attend college in the fall. When asked about his experience serving as a DSP, Josh explained his passion for helping his clients grow:

“I have worked as a Direct Support Professional for more than four years now. Over that time, I have learned that no matter how much you think you know, you can always get thrown a curveball in this career. The experiences I’ve had have caused me to truly find great fulfillment in helping my clients succeed in life. I also truly enjoy watching them be proud of their own accomplishments whether that be working towards a career or trying to develop technical skills with computers or even just making friends. I find myself being proud of them as well, watching them light up when they get to a level they thought they might not have been able to achieve otherwise. I’m grateful that I am able to be a part of their journey in life.”

Josh’s commitment to his client is evident to Hayden and his family. Despite changing agencies and receiving additional training that would allow him to change professional roles, Josh has been dedicated to sticking with Hayden. Even when Hayden had to go without services for a short time, Josh made room for Hayden on his counseling schedule so that Hayden’s routine would not be disrupted. Josh has been there for Hayden and his family through difficult times including family deaths and older siblings moving away. He has played an important role in Hayden’s life and has gone out of his way to care for Hayden. Through his commitment, ethics, and personalization in serving Hayden, Josh has made a lasting impact that Hayden will always remember.

We are excited to recognize Josh as one of our Direct Support Professionals of the Year. You are an inspiration to all of us!

Your Consumer Direct Care Network