Success Stories

The Arc Advocates

A vibrant and beautiful young lady who lives in our area sustained a birth injury that resulted in profound hearing loss and Cerebral Palsy. Her family needed help navigating through the process of getting the appropriate health-care and social assistance required to assure Brooke’s well-being.  The Arc Mid-South’s trained advocacy program came to the rescue. Brooke’s family is not an isolated case. We need more advocates to join us. Information for joining The Volunteer Advocacy Project (VAP) can be found on Please consider joining us.

The Arc Mid-South employees came together this holiday season and brought Christmas for two special little girls. One of our clients, Meika Halls, was unsure if she was going to be able to have presents for her daughters and needed assistance. She didn’t know what to do, so our Community Advocate, Sandra Hawkins organized the first “Arc Angels” volunteers. The employees responded by flooding Ms. Hawkins’ office with gifts to wrap. We are so proud of the generosity our employees showed! Victoria, 2 and Sasha, 1, were showered with toys, dolls, clothes, and other goodies!

Challenges and Success

Brian and Rachel-Marie are the parents and conservators of two special-needs adult sons, Daniel and James. Daniel, 21, was born with a genetic deletion called 18Q Minus Syndrome.  He also suffers from autism and a host of psycho-social disorders. 

Daniel loves to help cook, sing and dance and help answer the telephone at his day program!  Daniel also enjoys painting; this year, his artwork will be featured in a gallery in Mississippi throughout the Christmas season.  James, 20, was born with a different genetic deletion called 13Q Minus Syndrome.  He is missing the center portion of his brain and suffers from holoprosencephaly, hydrocephalus with a VP shunt and is almost entirely deaf.  James loves word puzzles, coloring and watching the Food Network.  James takes great pride in “going to work” at the day program, where he helps cleans bathrooms.

One concept James clearly understands without question is love.  Brian and Rachel-Marie are passionate advocates for their sons.  They fight daily to ensure Daniel and James have the assistance and structure they need to thrive, not merely survive. 

Parent Testimonials

Thank you so much to Ms. Hawkins for all of your advice, support and traveling out to the meeting. It was a huge blessing and relief getting in touch with you and having you by our side. I thank God for you and your work you do! The Spohrs

I have a son within the Shelby County school system and when I came to The Arc Mid-South I needed assistance. Mrs. Leaper met with me on several occasions and was able to work with my family and the school to correct the issues and have my son’s placement changed. Thanks to The Arc Mid-South for being there and taking the time to assist me. Mrs. Pamela D.

I moved here from, Topeka Kansas because my husband was transferred for his job. We left our families and friend in Texas and Kansas, so we did not know where to turn for school, housing or services.  My first call was to The Arc. They assisted us with a handbook on services and walked us through every process.  We are now utilizing all their services, our son is living at home with us; without The Arc he would probably be living in a group home.  I thank you Arc Mid-South for the overall dedication and support you give to families of children with special needs and your outstanding staff.  C. Booker

I called The Arc when my son was about three years old. Now my youngest son, LB, is 5 ½ years old and has Down syndrome. He is in a Functioning Skills class this year, but after Christmas break he started integrating into regular kindergarten class for social times (centers, library, music, recess, etc.). This has helped both his speech and socialization. We just had his end-of-year evaluation and I am very proud of several points. 1) He is scoring, on average, at 4-year-old level academically. 2) He will remain in Functioning Skills as core class, but has been moved up to first grade for inclusion opportunities. 3) Testing indicated Justin scored 109 in social skills (normal range is 90 to 100). He is my social butterfly and everyone instantly falls in love with him. It is nice when I pick him up from school and other kids from different classes run up to tell Justin "BYE." Everywhere we go, I see kids tapping there mom saying, "Momma, Momma - that's Justin!" He makes me very proud! The Arc Mid-South is like a ministry, they listen sit with you and will walk you through the process.  They went to every (IEP) individual education program meeting with me. I am so grateful to The Arc. I would not have known about all the laws and what to expect.  Thank you all for caring about our children with special needs.  We need more of you!  A. Jackson


I am so grateful for everything you all at The Arc have done for my son! He has been employed over 10 years now at the job you all found. You all always check on us and help us whenever we need you. We appreciate you so much! Ms. Vinson (Mother of employed student)

Thanks you all for pointing me in the right direction. I was nervous and was afraid to let go. Thanks to Ms. Leaper for comforting me and assuring me that our daughter would be cared for by her caring staff.  The services were excellent and have made a remarkable difference in our entire family’s lives. Our daughter feels more comfortable talking to people and telling about friends she made at the camps.  As you know, she almost 14 years old very small in her development and very tiny. She has never done anything "age appropriate" until now... She can now say, thanks to The Arc she has friends like her peers. B. Taylor

I have two children within the school system and when I came to The Arc Mid-South I didn’t know what I was doing. I was able to take the VAP class and other workshops to help me to assist my children in the school system. Also The Arc Mid-South Advocacy Team came out to the meeting with me and made sure that everything we requested and that my children needed was done. Thanks so much.  Mildred I.





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