A Painter Comes Full Circle


A Painter Comes Full Circle


At 18, Antonio’s life was shattered when he came to CNS in 2005. He’d fallen from a scaffold while painting a building, suffering a brain injury that made him angry, withdrawn, and abusive.

Before seeking treatment at CNS, he lived at home with his father, who was his main caretaker. That arrangement changed when his father’s health issues limited his ability to care for Antonio. With his beginnings in our Assisted and Supported Living programs, Respite care became the logical next step. He entered the program in 2011, and made remarkable progress in the year he was there.

“He learned to cook, do laundry, and care for his pets. He made huge advances”

In Assisted Living, Antonio was quickly immersed in a goal-oriented program, giving him a solid foundation for his Respite experience.

“From day one he began to change,” said his case manager. His treatment plan was tailored to his injury and needs, so his team focused on cognition, social skills, and socialization.

“Structure was critical,” she noted. “Before coming into Respite care his father did everything for him, which deepened his dependencies.”

“At CNS, he learned to cook, do laundry, and care for his pets,” she said. “He made huge advances.” Antonio still lives with his father but is now competent in tasks that were once handled for him.

He’s also returned to school. As a student in English as a Second Language classes, he practices English with fellow classmates.

But his greatest source of pride is caring for the two dogs that he loves. He bathes, walks, and feeds them without being prompted. A morning ritual is the two-mile walks he takes with his tail-wagging pals.

Another discovery for Antonio has been his passion for art, which developed in therapy. Three years ago, he was honored to have his paintings chosen for the holiday note cards that CNS marketing staff sends to contacts. His image of a bridge scene was also selected as the company’s official note card.

Antonio has come full circle. The painter who fell found the painter within, and each day is a new rendering of hope.