Ari's Story: How Self-Direction Brought a Young Man Home After 15 Years

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This is Ari's story. Ari is from Wolf Point, Montana located on the Fort Peck reservation. Ari, 27 years old, is a member of the Assiniboine tribe. At the age of 5, Ari was diagnosed and treated for leukemia. Following the treatment for leukemia, Ari began to have seizures resulting in developmental delays with significant behaviors. These behaviors put him and other children in the home at risk for harm. At the age of 9, Ari was sent to an out-of-state institution (Texas Neuro Rehab center) as there were not any placement options in Montana that could meet his needs. Since the age of 9 years, Ari has not lived at home with his family for any significant amount of time. As an adult, Ari lived in a group home 100 miles away from his family.

Finally, at the age of 25, Ari was able to move home with the support of family through self-directed services. Next step, Ari will have his own place, near his family home. This is Ari’s story of coming home and a mom’s perspective on self-direction. What works, what is challenging, and what lessons are to be learned.

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