Have you ever had a question about ADEC or the services the agency provides? Katie Kessler is ADEC’s new Director of Family Services, and she’s your one-stop-shop for answers.
Katie’s role is overseeing the referral process for any new, potential clients, or service inquiries. Those include day services, ADEC Industries, music and recreational therapies, After-School Club, summer camp and more. She’ll also be able to point you in the right direction for any ADEC-related questions.
Receiving a diagnosis can be overwhelming — we get that. Parents are asked to learn a new language and navigate a complex system of forms, government agencies and local resources.
At ADEC, families are not alone on this journey. Our Family Services division stands by families’ side from the moment a child receives a diagnosis to the time he or she transitions to adulthood.
Each year, ADEC’s Family Services serve close to 300 individuals. Many are working families who would have difficulty balancing work and care without services like ADEC’s After-School Club or Camp Wy.Not. The children we serve through programs and therapies range in age from 5 to 22. Although many are diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, ADEC works with a range of other developmental disabilities, including intellectual disabilities, neurological disorders and mental illness.
When we are guiding families and providing much-needed respite care, we also help children develop skills and friendships that help them prosper and pursue their dreams. And while we are doing all of this, children have fun with ADEC, whether it’s racing go-karts, singing karaoke or learning to lasso a horse at LoveWay.
Families find they can count on ADEC to prepare children with disabilities to be successful adults who lead lives full of choice and possibility.
Katie comes to ADEC with a B.S.W. in Social Work from Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg, Virginia. At Katie’s last job, she held the role of Director of Programming at Children’s Dispensary in South Bend. While serving in that role, Katie focused on clients with special needs. She oversaw activities like summer camp, bowling, cooking classes and even going out to eat. Through those recreational and social activities, she also had to manage scheduling and adapting the outings to those with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Throughout Katie’s professional career, she’s strived to help find answers to make family life easier for the people she’s serving. With her experience of helping those with intellectual and developmental disabilities, Katie made the decision to take her skills to ADEC.
She says people with intellectual and developmental disabilities are “a group that needs to be served. There are so many areas of social work. I knew I wanted to be in this field, as far as intellectual and developmental disability field. That is where I felt more comfortable, programming wise. I wanted the change. It was similar to Child Dispensary. I was really excited this worked out. This is family and children, and that’s essentially what my background has been.”
Her title, Director of Family Services, is how she wants to approach her new role. Her focus is on creating a better family life. Whether that be informing parents how to help a child with intellectual and developmental disabilities, or even making sure parents have time for self-care. She says she wants to focus on “empowering families to advocate for their children, it’s a big part of it. They just aren’t aware of what is available or their avenues to access certain services.”
Katie’s main goal is “to broaden the scope of the people we serve. I want to improve quality of services that we provide, because the clients deserve it, and so do their families”
Katie can be reached by phone, (574) 522-7802, e-mail, KesslerK@adecinc.com, or at ADEC Industries, 2700 Industrial Pkwy, Elkhart, IN 46516.