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All persons deserve to have a purpose and to feel useful. It is our mission at Special Dreams Farm to provide individuals with developmental disabilities as well as the dually diagnosed and the disabled, the means and support in order for each to reach their individualized, maximum potential and performance in both personal growth and community independence.
All people deserve to feel useful, whatever their weaknesses or strengths may be. At Special Dreams Farm it is our goal to facilitate this need.
How have we done this? We have created a working farm specifically for adults with developmental disabilities such as: autism, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy and other cognitive impairments. A place for disabled adults to feed & care for animals, plant & raise crops, cook, sew and take part in many other farm responsibilities and social activities.
Special Dreams Farm is open to adults with developmental disabilities Monday through Friday. Our Special adults, we call them farmers, are assigned jobs when they arrive with their job coach. Jobs may include work in the garden, greenhouse, or woodworking building, grass cutting and trimming, painting or general farm maintenance.
Some of our Special Dreams Farm farmers may work in our cooking program located in the farm house learning to bake, following recipes, and basic kitchen skills. Many of our farmers are learning how to build a picket fence for the front of the farm by placing precut wood in a fixture, pre-drilling and nailing all the pieces together to form an 8 foot section of fence. Prime and finish painting of each section then follows.
Our program director places the farmers where their interest and capabilities allow while still challenging the farmers to learn new skills. She does a great job finding meaningful work for everyone while maintaining a safe environment.We have found that so many of our farmers can do work that no one thought they could do, and were not given the opportunity. Not only can they do so much more, but they are doing it better and getting stronger every day, and having fun doing it.
- Ashley Plichta
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