Helping neighbors in need - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Business

default avatar
Welcome to the site! Login or Signup below.
Logout|My Dashboard

Helping neighbors in need

Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Wednesday, October 22, 2008 11:00 pm

We live in a time of transition. It happens to each of us, in every walk of life, and we take for granted our ability to accept change and live with it. For those with special needs, transition in life is difficult, not understood, and cannot be taken for granted.

As their name suggests, Transitions for the Developmentally Disabled, a local Ahwatukee Foothills agency, helps transition individuals with special needs to become more independent and deal with life's transitions while improving their quality of life.

Transitions was founded by Pamela Twitchell and Dennis Karp to help "transition" Pamela's daughter, Jennifer, a 26-year-old young lady with Down syndrome, into a fuller, more independent lifestyle and integrate her into the community. They will be celebrating their five years of serving the special community this October.

Pamela, an LPN and single mother of two, had been raising Jennifer on her own when Jennifer was nearing her high school graduation. Pamela worried about what would happen to Jennifer if something were to happen to herself. Transitioning under such circumstances is difficult for anyone, but even more so for those with special needs. She didn't want Jen to be placed in a state licensed "group home" or encumber other family members with her care.

To help Jennifer become more independent and able to deal with transition better, Pamela and Dennis created an agency to care for individuals with special needs, find them their own private residences and roommates, and provide quality care-giving.

Transitions offers the unique perspective of a parent - what a parent feels, needs and expects in the care of their loved ones - in their programs, family support and care-giving.

The program teaches valuable life skills while having fun. Pamela and Dennis are intimately involved in the day-to-day affairs of the organization, which now number more than 120 clients and 130 caregivers, and continue to run their organization as an extended family.

They not only provide individually designed housing for their clients, they also provide care to those who live with their parents or guardians. Transitions also acts as advocates for their special needs clients and families in their relationship with the state of Arizona Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD). Transitions helps clients get the services they need, they deserve and are entitled to, and help families navigate their way through the complex and often confusing DDD system.

The age range of the organization's clients range from 3 to 57 years old. Transitions runs effectively due to their trained staff of caregivers who not only help with caring for the needs of the clients, but also teach life skills needed for the clients to function in society.

The program arranges weekly activities for their clients, including cooking and baking classes, "Mr. Manners" classes for young men, musical "jam sessions," movie nights, art classes, monster truck shows, free concerts in the park, community plays and they participate in the Special Olympics. There is also a Tot n' Toddlers program that is offered Monday through Friday, where main stream children are integrated with special needs children, and a Summer Daze Program on Fridays in the summer where they go to museums, the planetarium and other community events.

Transitions services are Valleywide. They are a 24/7 operation located in Ahwatukee Foothills at 17018 S. 26th St., and their hours are 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. They can be reached at (480) 940-7915, or e-mailed at and


Carol Lazarescu is co-owner of The CoffeeBuzz at 4804 E. Chandler Blvd. She can be reached at (480) 393-3430.

More about

More about

  • Discuss

A complete list of the many powerful women who took center stage at the DNC

When Hillary Clinton took the stage on July 28 to accept the Democratic nomination for president—becoming the first US woman in history to do …

Published: July 30, 2016 - 3:21 pm @…

Is This The Most Boston Thing To Have Ever Happened?

One Reddit user’s trick on his “foodie” brother-in-law has Bostonians going crazy on social media.After years of performing his state-mandated…

Published: July 30, 2016 - 2:27 pm @…

Cooling center opens in Buckeye as power outrages linger

BUCKEYE, AZ (KPHO/KTVK) - Various parts of Buckeye still remain without power following Friday night's storms.  Arizona Power Service reports …

Published: July 30, 2016 - 2:21 pm @…

Dirty Laundry Alert: Kelly Townsend Drops E-mail Bomb on CD5 Hopeful Andy Biggs

Stephen Lemons A A Andy Biggs probably wishes he never stopped by a recent Legislative District 16 meeting in Mesa, where he reportedly picked…

Published: July 30, 2016 - 1:48 pm @…

Justice Department to review fatal Arizona police shooting

PHOENIX (AP) — The U.S. Justice Department will investigate the fatal shooting of a woman by a Winslow police officer. Justice Department spok…

Published: July 30, 2016 - 12:48 pm @…

This baby Harry Potter fan grew up to be like Hermione Granger

Taken in 2003, this adorable photograph of a six-month-old baby girl with her mum is a perfect example of early Harry Potter fandom.  The baby…

Published: July 30, 2016 - 12:48 pm @

Buckeye AZ Police Department - Timeline

@BuckeyeAZPDPublicSee more of Buckeye AZ Police Department by logging into FacebookMessage this Page, learn about upcoming events and more. If…

Published: July 30, 2016 - 12:46 pm @

Reward offered after armed robbery at Taco Bell

SCOTTSDALE, AZ - Know this man? Silent Witness is offering a reward after they believe he robbed a Taco Bell. The incident happened at a Scott…

Published: July 30, 2016 - 12:26 pm @…

The return of the Luddite president

Whether Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump wins the White House, one thing seems sure: The U.S. will get a president with scant first-hand unders…

Published: July 30, 2016 - 12:18 pm @…

Radio Phoenix Podcast with Man Hands

Local punk rockers Man Hands came down to the Phoenix Center for the Arts for another installment of Rise on Radio Phoenix. And of course they…

Published: July 30, 2016 - 11:55 am @…

Facebook on Facebook

Twitter on Twitter


Subscribe to via RSS

RSS Feeds


Most Popular

Online poll