Since the move, his father says, David has "really grown in a lot of ways. He's a lot more independent ... He does a lot of things--folds his clothes, empties the dishwasher. He'd never do that [at home]. I'd ask him to, but he'd say no."
The Carlisles have seen changes in Megan, too. "The thing that is just amazing to me is the growth that has occurred," Dick says. "You wouldn't think that somebody who is cognitively impaired and developmentally disabled, who is thirty-five, would be able to expand his/her vocabulary or learn to read at a higher level, but ... she's around young men and women, and she picks up things from them ... complex sentences, and vocabulary she would never have used three or four years ago."
Best of all, Dick says, "She's happy. She was not happy before. Her unhappiness was mostly, usually, directed at us ...Megan is very happy now because she has this feeling, first of all, she is on her own. Our house is no longer her home."
"Home is really my condo," Megan agrees by cell phone one evening while at her neighbor Kelly's condo for dinner.
"I don't have a roommate, and can just do whatever I want to do." She volunteers at St. Joe's hospital and CSTS, and sees her ICW friends "every single day."