Kaylee Rabenstine began working at Typical Life Corporation as a Direct Support Professional in the Day Program. She never imagined that one day she would direct the county operation.
Typical Life Corporation’s Kaylee Rabenstine, then a Direct Support Professional, was scared to start work at a new TLC residential house. Her job was to support the individuals with special needs who resided there.
Kaylee had heard that one of the individuals could be aggressive. He was nonverbal and would often flail his arms in anger, causing others to fear him. Kaylee took the time to understand his needs, teaching him to clap for “yes” when he wanted something, such as help with his jacket or his shoes.
By working with him patiently, Kaylee soon saw a total transformation in the individual. He became happier, started laughing and smiling, and developed the ability to communicate his needs.
He also became like family to Kaylee. On many major holidays, he comes home with her to celebrate with her family.
“He made such an impact on me and now he continues to make that impact on my family,” Kaylee says. “You take that stuff for granted, being able to say ‘yes’ or communicate something, which seems small to us, but obviously was affecting him terribly.”
A journey of growth and dedication
Kaylee began working as a DSP at the Adams County Day Program in 2018. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in 2020, she transitioned to working at a residential home. Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, Kaylee’s commitment to supporting individuals with special needs never wavered.
As a DSP, Kaylee provided one-on-one support to individuals, accompanying them to appointments, assisting with shopping, and helping them achieve their goals.
“I couldn’t believe I was getting paid to hang out, laugh, and have fun all day,” she recalls. “It didn’t feel like work at all.”
As opportunities arose, Kaylee’s dedication and expertise led her to take on more responsibilities at TLC. She eventually became a Program Manager, overseeing multiple houses and programs.
In February 2023, compelled by her love for the Adams County area and her desire to see TLC thrive, Kaylee stepped into the position of Director of the county program.
“I get to hang out with the coolest people every day and witness their remarkable growth,” Kaylee says. “The staff members are amazing, and they don’t receive enough credit.”
Honoring amazing individuals
As Director, Kaylee’s role has evolved since her days as a DSP. She dedicates significant time to behind-the-scenes tasks, though she still values the hands-on interactions that initially captivated her. Shortly after becoming Director, Kaylee organized an awards ceremony for the individuals whom TLC Adams County serves.
Staffers purchased trophies for every individual and spoke about each one at the event, honoring one’s enjoyment of karaoke, another’s communications skills, listing characteristics they love about each individual.
“The individuals we serve are amazing and they deserve to know that,” Kaylee says. “You know, they might not hear it every day, they might not have heard that their whole life, and I want to make sure that they know that.”
As Director, Kaylee looks forward to expanding the program and providing opportunities for individuals to thrive in whatever areas they want to explore, with a kindhearted staff that takes the time to understand their needs.
“If people were thinking about doing something like this, you just have to have a certain kind of heart, and you have to be willing to give some of it,” Kaylee says. “You have to let them in, but they’ll let you into their heart, too.”
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