A Place For Max TM
Every parent of a child with developmental disabilities has the same thought and fear: “Who will take care of my child when I am gone?” A Place For Max was created with that very thought in mind. Our son has autism, and our biggest fear is what will happen to him after we are gone. The choices are limited: 1. to stay with an aging parent, or 2. go into an assisted living facility. We want more for our son. Our mission is to provide a safe, loving community/environment where those with developmental disabilities can interact, learn and grow; where they can feel included and feel like they are making a difference. Our plan is to build a community for adults with developmental disabilities. Since moving to Marinette, we have also become Guardians for a young man with developmental disabilities who lives in Crivitz. Through this wonderful experience, we have come to recognize the need for a community like the one we envision.
We have been actively involved in the Autism community for over 20 years, working with the Special Olympics, Regional Centers, school districts, city officials, as well as countless behavioral therapists, counselors and case workers. We have gained a lot of experience through the years and, because of that, we are strong advocates for our son. Part of the mission for A Place For Max is to share our knowledge with others so that they can be advocates for their loved ones with developmental disabilities.
Our initial plan was to have a large piece of land to build several small houses, a gym and a community center for our residents. The thought of having all of those things under one roof never crossed our minds because of the cost involved in creating such a space. Since finding the Sunrise school property in Marinette, we now see this all-inclusive space within reach. This space will provide us with everything we need to create the environment we envision.
It is also important to have a network of families with loved ones with developmental disabilities and provide assistance in helping these families obtain services through the state and their communities. Our hope is to also establish support groups where families can gather and discuss their concerns, accomplishments and ideas with other families with a loved one with developmental disabilities.
Adults with developmental disabilities want to be included in activities and have the same opportunities that average adults do, but need a little help to get them there. We want to be able to help them to set goals and achieve them. We want to teach them that there is more to their life. We also want to educate the general public – teach them tolerance and patience for adults with developmental disabilities through school programs like Circle Of Friends - this program pairs average high school children with children who have developmental disabilities in their school.
A Place For Max is a 501(c)(3) organization and we depend on donations, grants and other federal funding. Any donations and grants received at this time will go towards construction costs to convert the classrooms within Sunrise school to create the needed living spaces and recreation areas.
Max and his cousin Rafa performing "My Hero" at the school talent show