September brings its share of celebrations - among them, National Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) Appreciation Week (9/9/22-9/15/22). While that seven-day period of time has been officially designated to recognize the tens of thousands of people in DSP positions, we believe that this group deserves our collective public applause and admiration throughout the entire month - and all year long.
Direct Support Professionals show up every day for the millions of people in communities throughout our country and the world who have developmental disabilities. They become like extended family to those individuals for whom they provide the kind of care that allows people with developmental disabilities to thrive. At Anderson Center for Autism, we see it every single day; they are instrumental in helping us carry out our mission of optimizing the quality of life for people with autism. Our DSPs lead by example, inspiring everyone around them with their extraordinary dedication, tireless patience, and utter selflessness. Not only do they ensure that daily living needs are met, but they cultivate a sense of belonging for the people they support. Additionally, they courageously persevere when challenges arise with a resiliency of spirit that has been especially notable throughout the global health crisis.
I urge neighbors, friends, family members, and businesses to remember to acknowledge the important career path of the DSPs in your circles. They help people with disabilities live meaningful, productive lives, and our world is a better, kinder place because of them.
Patrick D. Paul
CEO/Executive Director, Anderson Center for Autism