Nikki Continues to Grow in Independence

March is National Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month (NIDDA), which seeks to raise awareness about the inclusion of people with developmental disabilities in all areas of community life. Mosaic will feature one person we serve each week during the month who exemplifies this national campaign by leading a BOLD life.

Nikki Luckey lives life in her own unique and bold way.

Ten years ago, she chose her Mosaic at Home provider based on a potato and a song.

At the time, Nikki’s former host home provider of nearly 20 years had unexpectedly passed away, and Nikki was devastated. As she sat in the kitchen of the third potential provider she met with, Nikki noticed a potato on the counter. She began singing Hot Potato, a familiar tune from her previous home, as she excitedly pointed to the potato. The woman she was meeting with jumped up and started singing with Nikki.

When she offered to prepare the potato for Nikki to eat, the deal was done—Nikki had found her new home.

Not typically verbal, one way Nikki communicates her needs is through songs and phrases, including nursery rhymes such as Hot Potato that have happy memories associated with them. Her host family, which includes three children, understands her communication style and makes sure she has a voice in all household decisions.

Feeling safe and secure in that environment, Nikki continues to grow in independence.

She recently mastered both how to do her own laundry and how to prepare a meal for herself in the microwave. She’s also learning more personal care skills on her own, using special apps on her iPad to help.

At Mosaic, our mission is to relentlessly pursue opportunities that empower people. Nikki is now more empowered than she’s ever been. Just by starting with a song.

Rebekkah, a young woman with blonde hair, wears red graduation robes and holds balloons and flowers.

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