Millie's Story

Millie’s Story

Story written by: Carol Grabbe


I had the pleasure of meeting with Mildred Perez.  She is a true inspiration.  Although she is non-verbal, she can communicate through sign language.  Would you believe she knows over 700 signs in sign-language?  In interviewing Millie, I learned signs such as laundry and hamburger which is her favorite food.  Millie was accompanied by George and Maggie Skidd who are her guardians.  They have been involved in Millie’s care for over 30 years.

Millie lived at Southbury Training School (STS) for about 28 years.  Millie made the decision to leave STS so she could gain more individualized attention.  Millie also expressed how she wanted to make more choices for herself in her daily living.  When Millie left STS, she moved to a community group home where she now lives and is much happier.  Millie was able to gain more independence.  Millie regularly visits with George and Maggie and is always a part of the family on holidays.


Millie purchased a gazebo that she enjoys sitting outside in and sharing with her housemates.  Millie also shared that Amanda, her house manager, helps her cook, plan vacations and set up transportation.  Some things that Millie loves to do is going out shopping and enjoying chocolate ice cream.  Millie takes great pride in her appearance and always wants to look her best.  When her house manager takes her clothes shopping, she picks out the clothes she likes.  Much of this is chosen by colors and sensory pieces like how the items feel to touch.  Millie also absolutely LOVES being pampered and engages in weekly “spa sessions” where her hair, nails and makeup get done.

These are things that Millie was unable to do at STS.  Now, Millie can enjoy these things as much as she wants.


In closing, I asked Millie if there was something positive that she could share with me.  She signed mother, happy, family, goodbye.