Woody's Story


Both the Day Program and Residential Program in Yavapai County are amongst the finest in the State of Arizona for individuals who have been diagnosed with developmental disabilities. The staff of both programs are terribly proud of their client Woodward “Woody” Gatewood who has lived in an Intermountain developmental home for almost 32 years! Woody is from the Navajo Reservation where his extended family still resides. He first moved to Flagstaff in 1982 to take up residence with Intermountain developmental home providers Manny and Judy. Woody, who is also totally blind, exhibited behaviors that were out of control, sometimes several times a day, three to four days a week. He required a stable, controlled environment filled with constant attention. When Manny and Judy moved to Chino Valley several years later, Woody moved with them. He was enrolled in the Intermountain Day Program, as well.

Three years ago, a new Day Program building was gifted to Intermountain on the property where the Intermountain Administrative offices are located. Learning of the beautiful new facility, Woody had a conversation with a staff member about his destructive behavior and how damaging it would be to the new building’s interior. He vowed to take on the responsibility of controlling his own temper and preserving a serene setting for his 17 fellow Day Programmers. Now, approaching his 53th birthday and suffering a great deal from osteoporosis, Woody never slips into a rage nor is he destructive during his Day Program sessions! Maybe because of his blindness, he is especially sensitive to the timbre of voices and chaotic noises. His staff believe that he finds the level and reassuring voices of his providers, Manny and Judy, and his Day staffers calming and stabilizing.

Woody is on a roll with the advent of his 32nd year with Intermountain fast approaching and the love and admiration of the Chino Valley staff and participants in the program. His interests in art and communicating with his peers are no longer eclipsed by temper tantrums. Woody has experienced admirable success!

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