Woodale Press: Like so many young adults, Bill Yoakam of Naperville is still living at home with his parents. They’re happy to have him, but as their son gets older, the reality that soon he’ll need to leave home becomes profound, and carried with it many challenges.
Bill, 25, was diagnosed with Angelman Syndrome when he was 17-years old. It’s a developmental disability caused by a chromosomal defect.
He’s non-verbal, but uses an electronic device to convey wants and needs. Bill also has mental delay and suffers from seizures. Although the disorder is often characterized by the inability to walk, Bill is able to get around on his own.
When Bill turned 22-years old, he was no longer eligible to attend the Aurora Education Center, which teaches life skills training for post-high school students. State law requires that school districts provide education to special needs students until the day before they turn 22.
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