Allison Nicolosi’s Treasure House Story: Learning Independent Living Skills Has Never Looked So Easy

Allison Nicolosi (in orange), Treasure House Resident, with friends.

Allison Nicolosi is 35-years-old and has down syndrome. As Gary and Heather Nicolosi’s only child, she lived at home as their labor of love all her life until January 2020, when she found a second forever-home at Treasure House. After touring our unique living community and doing a week-long trial stay, it was evident that Allison was meant to live here.

“Allison makes everyone happy. No matter what is going on in life, she just makes your day better. Everyone knows her for her sunshine and her ‘can do’ attitude!”

Life Coach, Michelle Vanderploeg

As they grow older, parents with differently abled children need peace of mind when it comes to who will care for their loved ones. “Allison was never destined to live alone, and we knew that we needed to develop an independence plan for her,” said Heather. “In the short time Allison has lived in Treasure House, we have been absolutely delighted to see how she has prospered and matured while settling into her new surroundings.”

Allison & her parents at the Treasure House Christmas party.

Allison has gone from living  at home with her parents who helped to support Allison in most daily living activities, to having an entire apartment all to herself with a new routine that has included learning the basics – doing her own laundry, doing dishes, sweeping, cleaning her bathroom, setting an alarm, preparing her own medication, managing her own hygiene, and more. And she loves every minute of it.

“Allison shows people what is possible,” said Michelle. “All of us here at Treasure House love watching her flourish in new ways. She’s proud of herself, too!”

She participates in every scheduled community activity and enjoys spending time with her best friends Kate and Jessica. Allison loves to color, bake, watch movies, swim, do Zumba, and contributes in women’s group and other courses. “I’ve been practicing writing and reading this summer, and also learned to ride a bike,” said Allison. Treasure House’s director of operations is currently looking into a volunteer opportunity for Allison to work at a local horse ranch.

A few weeks ago, Allison experienced some respiratory distress. EMTs made sure that Allison was cared for, but her worried parents wanted to take her home for further monitoring. Allison was upset that she was going home and told her parents that she didn’t want to miss Zumba the next day, so they returned her in the morning.

“The guidance and loving oversight Allison has received from her Life Coach, Michelle, along with all of the Treasure House staff has been exceptional,” said Heather. “How grateful we are that she is a member of the Treasure House family.”

Allison with her Life Coach, Michelle.
Allison with her good friend, Kate.

Learn more about life at Treasure House and donate to our cause by visiting https://www.treasurehouse.org/.