By Michelle A. Brown


Another successful Legislative Day was held on March 4, 2021. It was quite different from last year, as we could not visit our legislators in person, however the first virtual experience was both productive and extremely positive. Representatives from Wildwood met with a combination of legislators and legislative aids; several of them spoke about family members with disabilities. It was clear that these officials had an understanding of both the challenges people with disabilities experience, and the importance of restoring funds to the disability community and its essential workforce. 

By Marianne Simon,
PsyD-Director of Behavioral and Therapeutic Supports


The hallmark characteristics of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) are difficulties with communication and restrictive or repetitive behavior patterns. Data from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) notes that in 2016, approximately 1 in 54 children had been diagnosed with an ASD by the age of 8 years old. Additionally, 84% of children had a developmental screening by age 3, which is a 10% increase from previous reports (CDC, 2020). The marked increase in early screenings and diagnosis at an earlier age is evidence that the field has made tremendous progress focusing on early intervention. It is widely recognized that earlier diagnosis and treatment leads to better outcomes for individuals on the Spectrum. The past 14 months, however, have certainly presented a challenge for families in accessing evaluations and interventions.

By Maggie Pascucci

Mary Green is a direct support professional (DSP) at Wildwood’s McLean IRA. Jay Benn Golden calls McLean his home. They both faced the uncertainty and turmoil brought into the world by COVID-19...and they faced it together. Mary has supported the four men who live at McLean since September 2016. The past thirteen months added an additional layer to the support she and her co-workers needed to provide the men as they all adapted to the guidelines around health and safety, both within the home and out in the community.

Since the last edition of Reaching Out, Wildwood welcomed Lisa Getman to the team as the new Chief Operating Officer (COO). This COO position was left vacant after now-CEO Lou Deepe transitioned into his current role. The process of identifying and selecting the right person for this position involved a comprehensive approach in the design of the search, hiring and interviewing process. There were several rounds of interviews conducted by Wildwood staff of all disciplines and levels in our organization. Many applicants were screened and several were chosen for interviews in a process that occurred over three months. Lisa not only met all the high standards of this position; she also will undoubtedly be a good fit in the Wildwood culture.

The Wildwood Theater Arts Players will present "Let's Make A Scene!" -- a theater arts show written by Wildwood's Adult Education students. The show will be presented virtually on Wednesday, June 2, at 7:00 p.m.

The performance will feature pairs of actors who have developed an idea together, collaboratively written the script, and will be performing their scenes.

If you would like to attend Let's Make A Scene! please RSVP to Melinda Burns at, with the subject line: show. RSVP by June 1, 2021 to receive a link to the Google Meet event! 


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