Minh Tien was born in 1983 in South Vietnam. In addition to other disabilities Minh Tien is completely deaf and nonverbal.
In July 2002 he came to America with his mom. His aunt Xuan Yee sponsored him to come here and helped put him and his mom into an apartment in the canal in San Rafael with other relatives. His aunt helped him get some health needs (i.e. prescription for glasses) taken care of and helped him get assessed for services through Golden Gate Regional Center (GGRC). GGRC referred Minh Tien to PDS.
In March 2003 Minh Tien began receiving services from PDS. At first PDS focused on teaching him basic skills such as money exchange and sign language through the Deaf Counseling and Rehabilitation Center in San Leandro. We hired a Vietnamese woman to work with him and help translate for his mom so she could be as involved as possible in his training. In addition to this, his mom also attended sign language classes. Minh Tien, who previously had no language skills at all, has learned about 80 signs already! He can now make some his needs known (like needing to use the restroom or being hungry or full) and he can communicate choices and answer questions. We've had fun taking him to his first movie and to the 4th of July parade. He even won our annual Halloween costume contest when he dressed as a Ninja. He works out every week at the YMCA and is learning to cook simple meals with two of his friends at their houses.
He did some work picking up tennis balls for Lisa's husband (tennis teacher) just so we could teach him what it means to work and receive money. Then in 2003 he started working setting tables at Pasta Pomodoro Lisa Markey Giraldi and her staff trained him for five months until he seemed like he could do the job on his own and he worked there without a job coach for years. In 2007, Minh Tien was interviewed and hired at Target, where he does stock work. His paycheck is the best part of the job. It was so exciting to take him to the bank on his first payday and watch his eyes light up as he cashed it into $1 bills.
Some words used to describe him are: friendly, good sense of humor, macho, cool, stylish, respectful of authority and delightful.