Monday, April 4, 2011

Success Story: Kenny Berg

When one first sees Kenny Berg interacting with his mother and father it is easy to see how strong the bond between them is. Kenny glows when he is around his parents and the look of love and caring that emanates from them is almost a physical force you can touch. These strong feelings are obvious even though the 36 year old has severe developmental disabilities, including intensive sight and hearing deficits. Despite his limitations, Kenny has an amazing ability to know exactly who is in his immediate proximity. His parents believe that he can use his sense of smell to identify people and that he has an uncanny ability to determine whether or not he will connect with someone based upon their “vibe.” Kenny’s ability to sense his surroundings without the use of sight or hearing has come in handy as he goes about his chores at the Queens County Farm. Kenny has been working at this unique facility for a number of years now, and has become an expert at collecting and sorting fresh eggs from the farm’s chickens. His colleagues state that the chickens, which can be ornery when disturbed from their egg-sitting, rarely raise a fuss as Kenny gently and quietly collects their eggs and places them in a basket to be sorted and sold in the farm’s store.

Kenny, who currently lives with his parents, is getting older now and his parents are anxiously working with Sinergia and the New York State Office of People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) to find a permanent residential placement for him. Kenny’s parents understand that he will need to establish a place to live outside of their home and despite the heartbreak that this separation may cause for all in the short-term, it is the long-term solution that occupies the thoughts of Kenny’s family. As developments occur, we will keep you all abreast of Kenny’s search for a home he can call his own.

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