When Jamie Comer graduated from high school at age 21, gone were the in-depth assignments and hours of homework that had long challenged him.
As Comer, who has Down syndrome, began to gradually lose critical thinking skills without the aid of vigorous schoolwork, his mother struggled to find opportunities to keep him mentally sharp.
"People have always assumed that people like Jamie don't really have opinions on anything remotely complex," said his mother, Nancy Comer, 64, of Port Washington. "They're just expected to work and be happy."
But Nancy Comer wanted more for her son, now 29, and other adults with developmental disabilities. Five years ago, with the help of like-minded advocates and the Port Washington Public Library, she formed Books for Dessert, a book club - thought to be the only one of its kind on Long Island - for adults with intellectual disabilities.
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