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In The Spotlight

Featuring Michael Korins


Tell us a little bit about yourself
My name is Michael Korins.  I am 25 years old and live on Long Island with my family. I am autistic. I have been Self-Directing since I left high school.  While I struggle with many things, I am a talented musician.  I am an award-winning singer.  I play piano and I am pursuing my passion for music through Self-Direction.

How long have you been Self-Directing?
I have been Self-Directing for three and a half years.

What is your favorite thing about Self-Direction?
Self-Direction allows me to pursue my specific interests.  For example, the support from my staff has allowed me to improve upon my musical ability.  I have performed at many events.  I most recently traveled to Pennsylvania, where I performed at the annual Inclusion Festival.  In addition, I have a featured role in an upcoming TV documentary about the challenges of having special needs and finding employment.  These type of achievements would not have been possible without the support of my community habilitation (com hab) staff.  With the help of Self-Direction, I am on my way to achieving my dream of becoming a professional vocalist.

Is there anything you don’t like about it?
I don’t like when a staff member leaves.  I have a good relationship with someone and then sometimes they move on, and I miss them and I have to adjust to someone new.

If you could pick one thing in Self-Direction that’s made a difference in your ability to be independent, what would that be?
My com hab staff has taught me many independent living skills both at home and in the community.  I now do my own grocery shopping, laundry, cleaning and many other things.  In addition, with the help of my staff, I have learned to be more flexible and less rigid in my thinking and behavior.

What advice would you give others who are considering Self-Direction?
I think anyone who is considering Self-Direction should definitely give it a try.  It is a way of taking control of your life and making it work for you.  Don’t be afraid of the work involved in managing your own program.  There are plenty of people that help you, such as your broker and of course, your family.  It is well worth it!


To watch Michael perform, click on this link:


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