Resiliency and the pursuit of happiness have been the theme of Ed Dovidua’s life and overall experience with New Directions. Ed’s wants and needs are not much different than anyone else’s, but he often faces challenges when trying to meet simple, everyday goals.
As a teenager, he was kicked out of his home by his biological family and put into foster care. It wasn’t lost on him that even though he felt hurt by the choices of his biological parents, he knew he would be safer somewhere else.
Luckily, he was paired with an amazing family and continues to go to them for support and connection. His favourite thing to do with them? Visit them at their cabin in West Hawk, just like he does most Christmas’.
As 18 set in though, Ed was faced with the harsh realities of independent living with an intellectual disability. He found himself struggling financially and emotionally. His social worker and mental health therapist then decided to get him connected with Adult Home Share services at New Directions where he eventually got paired up with Rick, his current home share provider, and pal.
Ed says he’s happy living with Rick and appreciates his easy-going, helpful, and friendly attitude. Rick helps Ed feel as free and independent as possible, offering one on one advice and support for Ed’s goals. Rick makes him feel safe at home and is thankful for a private home that allows him the freedom to do the things he likes.
A recent triumph in Ed’s pursuit of happiness was being able to get funding for guitar lessons. He loves playing the guitar, he finds joy in learning songs and playing them on his own. He also enjoys the comradery with his guitar teacher when they meet and jam together. Ed’s favourite songs to play? Smoke on the Water and anything by Nirvana. Ed is grateful for this chance to learn and build new skills provided by his support team. They told him the guitar lessons were well-deserved which validated and encouraged Ed to stay positive and hopeful for the future.
Ed’s next goals will likely be more challenging to accomplish. He craves education and friendship. He says he struggles with reading and writing and needs to finish his education to learn the basics. He says his support team is working on getting him funding for this. He wants to read books and expand his skill set to get a better job.
Ed has two jobs right now, one he loves and one he dislikes. He works part-time at New Directions delivering the mail. He finds this job rewarding, saying he has a great boss and loves spending time with people at the office. His other job is not so great. He has a paper route in his neighbourhood, around Sargent Avenue, and says he is regularly harassed and yelled at on his route. He wants nothing more than to find a better job but relies on the money and lacks resources and skills to find a better job.
While this is no doubt frustrating for him, Ed has excellent coping skills. He’s a very active person who likes to exercise or go for a walk when he needs to clear his head. He competes in Special Olympics and particularly enjoys winter sports like skiing, cross country and skating. He also loves to bowl.