DEAR is Daytime Enrichment Activities & Recreation.

503 601 0100 or 503 601 0110
1800 NW 169th Place, B300, Beaverton, OR 97006

Daytime Enrichment Activities & Recreation Inc


Each customer begins with a meeting to set goals for their needs.  This individual service plan is the guiding document for all care providers.  Those goals lead to daily activities that DEAR will accomplish or exceed.
One of the founding directors conveyed her concept of the agency before we opened our doors.  Since that beginning, the delivery of services widened to include nursing care for adults with medically fragile needs.  Over time, our customers have blossomed in their own ways as they have responded to the nurturing culture of our program. 

I am Susan Watson, a volunteer for the DEAR Project.  My son Jeremi is 26 years old and severely developmentally handicapped.  He is a fun loving guy but he has a mental capacity of someone under the age of twelve months of age.  His understanding of life is pretty limited and it is most often a challenge to find meaningful activities for him to occupy his day. He also needs a high level of care with his personal needs (i.e. feeding, toileting).  When he graduated from high school we enrolled him in an Alternative to Employment program that wasn’t able to meet his needs for stimulation.  Over the course of time it became more of a day care than a recreation and life skills program.  He would often come home with so much pent up energy and frustration that he would not sleep at night.
That started my quest to find a program that would meet his needs.  I visited several other ATE sites as well as talking with other parents and social service providers only to come to the conclusion that there is currently no other group addressing the needs of the severely developmentally handicapped/medically fragile population in Washington County.  As I was lamenting my problem with Jeremí’s personal agent, I made the statement “What do other families do?”  Sadly the answer was either these families keep their severely developmentally disabled family member at home or they settle for what is out there: day care. This is not quality of life for anyone.  I began asking questions, lots of questions how could we remedy this?  Can we as parents put together a program to meet the needs of our family members?  What would it take?  I started sending emails out to families who were in the same position, looking for interest, and there was huge interest.  But to my disappointment (but not surprise) most families said yes, we need this we want this but we can’t help.  We can’t afford care for our family member while we come to meetings. I was introduced to an education professional that also had a passion to find meaningful activities for the adults that graduated from her high school transition program.  Together we gathered a group of interested families who wanted to see something better for their adult children, and the concept of DEAR was born.  

You may wonder how the DEAR Program would be different from others.  This program would provide lots of sensory stimulation (something that this population craves), daily life skill training, and access to community through outings, social stimulation and companionship with peers and exercise, in a safe and nurturing environment.

It has been two long years of working to build this program.  We have not progressed as quickly as we would like but given our life circumstances we are moving forward with passion and a few dedicated folks who share the vision as well as encouragement from the county agencies that provide support services. We see this grant as an opportunity to give us the financial ability to hire the technical expertise that could make this dream a reality.  

Susan Watson

Editor's note:
At age 35 years, Jeremi's medical issues became untreatable. We are deeply touched with the memories of his time with us. His parents gave him their total support. Sue and Roger are the strongest advocates who helped create the DEAR program for Jeremi and his peers. They are amazing super parents who inspire others to collaborate in sustaining this special social service agency for adults with profound disabilities. 
Every day DEAR is open, our precious customers receive the blessing of compassionate care and affirmations of their personhood. Regardless of deficits, the staff focus on the customers' passions and interests. Blessings abound at DEAR.