Direct Support Professional of the Year – Elizabeth Image

Like most moms, Elizabeth (Liz) is devoted to her son. What makes Liz’s love and devotion exceptional is that her son, Taylor, has a disability and requires added support for him to be independent and active at the things he wants to do. Taylor has Spastic Diplegia Cerebral Palsy and deals with generalized and social anxiety disorder daily. Liz encourages Taylor with her positive attitude and hope, along with providing tools to help him deal with society and his disability. It is this positivity and acceptance of Taylor’s disability that inspires Taylor to see the strength in his mother and the value in himself.

“She fully accepted and rose to the challenge from day one, and has NOT ever been afraid to walk proudly beside me and shout to the world in how much she is proud of me and ‘this is MY Son, Taylor!’ Being a parent of a child born with a disability, raising me on her own for nearly twelve years, she defines strength.” – Taylor

Taylor and Liz’s journey provides an expansive view of the world where service to others is their passion and helping others and giving back to their community are their goals. Liz hopes to start a foundation to provide needed resources, help, and support to family, friends and relatives of individuals with disabilities. When asked, ‘what does it mean to her be a direct support professional (DSP)’ it’s evident that the commitment to service is the true essence of who Liz is and what she is about.

“There are times when I look back at my life, I realize that I was always meant to be a Caregiver in one way or another. Being a Caregiver is not just an option that you consider when you need a job to make a living. It is a true test of heart as well as both physical and mental will. It can be overwhelming and yet, it’s one of the most rewarding roles to make a difference in someone’s life. It is a decision you make because you possess the compassion to care for and support others. The sense of accomplishment and purpose truly gives meaning to my life.

Aside from working as a Caregiver outside the home, I am also a Caregiver to my son living with Cerebral Palsy. Foremost, I am his Mom. I assist in helping my son in the areas where he needs the most help, while taking steps back to allow him to achieve a degree of independence. Sure it would be easier to do the things ‘for’ him rather than ‘with’ him, however, my rule all around is called interactive caregiving. The importance of encouraging independence provides the opportunity to maintain physical, mental, social and emotional well-being.

I feel fulfilled knowing I have done a good job in the giving of my trust, genuine care and compassion. I embrace not the job, but the ‘Life As a Caregiver.’ It’s not a career to me, it’s a calling and serves as a constant validation that I am in the right profession.” – Liz

Taylor enjoys writing in the fields of screenplays, short stories, poetry and jukebox musicals. He anticipates completing a certification in screenplay writing with hopes that he will one day become an author and writer in the theater field. With support and positive encouragement from Liz, he is well on his way.

We proudly declare Liz as one of our Direct Support Professionals of the year. You inspire us as a mother, DSP, and community leader. Thank you for all you do and being the role model that we need. Keep up the awesome work!

Your Consumer Direct Care Network