by Susan Campbell
Andrew John Puglisi’s group home is off a side street in Newington, just five minutes from where he grew up. On a recent day, as holiday decorations were going up around town, a radio played quietly in another room. Puglisi was sitting at a table, moving small, colorful blocks around. He stacks. He unstacks. It calms him. Because the blocks are spongy, he can also throw them, though that’s not encouraged.
He’s calm now, in this, his third home since August 2017.
And here’s the irony: Change is difficult for Puglisi, 54, who has cortical blindness, epilepsy, behavior disorder and cerebral palsy. Change agitates him. He acts out and then he is moved to a new facility, which agitates him, and so on.
It’s a cycle that’s repeated all too frequently around the state, particularly with older residents such as Puglisi.