Dale Clute used to call his middle child, son Kevin, “my sweet little guy” but can’t any more because, at thirty four years old, Kevin is now bigger than he is.
The Clutes lived in Edmonton when Kevin was young. He took speech therapy classes that Dale says were great, but with budget cuts to the handicapped, the program was discontinued. Dale still thinks that Kevin may have learned to speak if the program had continued. Kevin graduated from Special Ed classes in the high school at Lac Labiche, AB. He was able to learn sign language and will nod his head as a way to include himself in conversations.
Kevin lives at the 107th Ave group home, where he loves to tease staff Marilyn Rycroft and Lenora Watson in the mornings. A real “wanderer”, they say Kevin walks all around the house early in the mornings. They have keep a close eye on his whereabouts when they go shopping with him because Kevin’s “free spirit” leads him away from the group and off wandering on his own if they are not careful.
Kevin sometimes does office shredding and is getting better at helping out in the group home. Staff at 107th Ave say pop is a very special treat for Kevin. He looks forward to it and used to cause a fuss if he couldn’t have it. After a visit with his Mom one time, Kevin returned to the group home and sat with his pop, but surprised Lenora because he didn’t drink it but just sat there and smiled.
Dale says the greatest challenge as a parent was to find schooling and residential placements for Kevin. He finds that funding cuts make it difficult at every step of the process. Community support has been very good, his church even offering a class for the handicapped.
Kevin has always been a happy guy and when he lived at home he went everywhere with the family. He loves holidays, ice cream and outings to restaurants. “Having Kevin in the family taught us all to see the good in life.”