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The original item was published from 2/17/2015 8:39:35 AM to 3/4/2015 12:05:01 AM.

News Flash

Butte-Silver Bow

Posted on: February 17, 2015

[ARCHIVED] With a little help from friends: Young man navigates independent living

Tony Cloyd took a great leap forward in independence when he moved to Butte recently.

Once he snapped the apron strings from his grandmother and brother in Whitehall, Cloyd was like a young bird anxious to relish his freedom and prove his worth.

Cloyd, 20, is one success story sprung from the Silver Bow Developmental Disabilities Council, Inc., which helps the disabled bridge the gap between high school graduation and independence.

He will help set up a Youth in Motion booth at Wednesday’s Real Life Fair, held in combination with Butte High’s Career and Technical Education Career Fair in the new gym. (See related story.)

“I think he’s doing great,” said Beth Burke, his case manager from Helena Industries Case Management. “He’s doing better than most people in his position.” Cloyd even took the Polar Plunge, a Special Olympics fundraiser, by jumping into icy Silver Lake on Feb. 7.

High-functioning with a developmental disability, Cloyd navigated small-city life quickly, learning how to ride the bus, connecting with services, taking a job at Goodwill, teaching himself how to cook and making new friends.

“When he moved in to Butte, it was a natural thing to do,” Burke added. “I was very impressed with his follow-through and motivation.”

Although he needs guidance with his checkbook and a few other chores, Cloyd gladly tackles other daily chores.

“We’ve seen this incredible fast rate of growth,” said Cassie Wick, specialist with the Montana Independent Living Project. She created Youth in Motion to help developmentally disabled people network with one another.

Read the full story in The Montana Standard.
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