Derek Bellows

Derek Bellows is a 9 year-old young man whose family consists of his Mom Melissa and his brother Nicholas. His YMCA story is best told directly by his Mother:

“Derek is a brilliant soul who is blessed with ADHD and high functioning autism which can also make him a challenge to work with. I chose the YMCA After School Program for Derek because of the access to swimming and gym activities. Both are great outlets for all of his extra energy. I felt even better about placing Derek in the program after talking with Cassandra Nelson who runs the program. It is often difficult to find a program that can work with

an manage the high energy, meltdowns and mood swings that ADHD and autism brings. I relayed these concerns to Cassandra and was excited to find out she went to school for working with special needs kids. After one week I knew the YMCA program was the right fit for Derek. He is excited to go see his friends and proud of his accomplishments in swimming. Two of his favorite reasons to go are Cassandra and her brother Cole who helps with the program. He looks up to them and feels very comfortable around them. Even on Derek’s worst days they both have something positive to tell me about Derek and are always astounded by his genius.”

Derek’s Mom went on to say, “I would tell anyone considering joining the Y or one of its programs to do it. The staff at the Y creates a friendly, positive and inviting environment. You can tell the team is her to help and support you on your journey.”