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Held together by a very thin thread

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HFSSC posted 9/18/2013 18:35 PM

I just need to vent about some stuff. Maybe get some advice about how to handle these 2 situations.

1. My ds21 (almost 22) has epilepsy and learning disabilities. He is absolutely brilliant in some areas but clueless in others. Unfortunately, the brilliance is typically relating to things that are not really useful in the real world, such as movie trivia, every book he's ever read, the bible. What he has difficulty with are things like remembering to take a shower every day, use deodorant, take his medication. He does not understand that if he puts his debit card # into a web site they are going to take money from him. He worked for a year and a half and never grasped that he had direct deposit and the paper he got with his pay information was not his actual money.

He graduated from high school with an IEP and a LOT of support and services. He graduated on time and with a B average, but with resource classes and a resource teacher who followed up every thing he did.

He wants to go to college. As his mother, it kills me to think of crushing his dreams. He wants to help disabled kids, study social work or something similar. But for the life of me I can't understand how we're supposed to help that happen. He can't drive. He can't manage his finances. I am working one full time job and 2 part time jobs and have no idea how to even pay for the part that FAFSA has calculated I should be able to pay. And what if we put $ in and he fails?

Lately, he has been getting inundated with calls from online colleges. South University. Argosy. A bunch of others. Apparently, he filled out some form online and his name has gotten out there. He talks to these people and thinks they care about him and want to help him. He doesn't understand that they are calling thousands of people and are just trying to make a buck.

This is so freaking unfair. I don't know how to help my son reach his dreams. He would give anything in the world to have a brain that functions "normally" (Whatever that is) Meanwhile I have 2 nephews who seem to be intent on killing every brain cell they can with pot and who knows what else.

The epilepsy foundation in our state closed a couple of years ago due to lack of funds. He went through Vocational Rehabilitation and learned how to put condiments, napkins and utensils in those little plastic bags and seal them shut, and how to punch in and out on a time card. There were no classes, no job placement assistance, no resources for how to achieve higher education.

I'm tired and sad and angry, and I truly pity the next poor fool who calls him because I am going to unload.

Gonna start another thread with my other issue.

nowiknow23 posted 9/18/2013 18:44 PM

HFSSC - The University of Iowa has a program called REACH. It's a "two-year, transition certificate program for students with multiple intellectual, cognitive, and learning disabilities. REACH provides a campus experience to empower young adults to become independent, engaged members of the community. Courses, campus life, and career preparation assist students in reaching their full potential. Post-graduation support assists students as they transition to work and self-sufficiency."

I'm sure other universities have similar programs. It's worth looking into.


[This message edited by nowiknow23 at 6:51 PM, September 18th (Wednesday)]

tushnurse posted 9/19/2013 11:19 AM

NIK I was about to say the same thing. Had a friend that did this with her guy, aspergers bad. I think he is now actually holding a job with tutoring.

HFSSC - I would say start with local universities, and Junior colleges, and see what types of programs they have available for him. Many JuCo's have programs for vocational stuff for those that can't get the book work. Also would he qualify to live in a transitional housing situation? Where he is with other like minded folks? Have a friend with a severly autistic kid, who has been a resident of one for many years, he has a "job". Where he works at a local nursing home in the kitchen loading trays, unloading, and organizing utensils and dishes. He doesn't get paid much (less than min wage) but because of his disability he also gets subsidized to live in the home. They have people there that make sure they take their meds, get their showers, etc.
Perhaps he can get training to work in a hospital setting where he's doing behind the scenes cafeteria or cleaning work.

(((((and strength))))

HFSSC posted 9/19/2013 11:27 AM

TN the job he had for a year and a half was as a dietary aide at the CCRC where I worked last. The manager who hired him was AWESOME. Understood and respected his limitations. Told me "C won't ever be my fastest worker, and that's okay. Because he works hard, he does his job with dedication and he always tries his hardest."

They couldn't keep anyone with both common sense and compassion, so they fired that manager for something stupid. The manager who eventually was hired is a class A bitch, who fit right in with the rest of the management there. (Which is why I am no longer employed there.) DS stayed on 6 months after I left. He really, really tried to please this woman. No matter what he did, it wasn't good enough, wasn't fast enough. She would give him extra duties and then write him up for not getting his regular work done on time. He can't drive, his shift started at 6 am, and me or JM would have to drive him (22 miles one way) on the weekends. He was only supposed to work every 3rd weekend, but she started scheduling him extra weekends.

We probably could have filed an ADA complaint, but ds just wanted to be done with them. He has put in applications everywhere within a reasonable radius. He stammers, speaks very slowly and doesn't present well. His handwriting looks like an elementary age kid, so his applications don't really get much of a 2nd look.

I looked into the REACH program. There is only one in SC that I could find. It costs $16000 a semester, not eligible for student loans.

I found some stuff online that I told him to look into today. Hopefully we can make some progress.

nowiknow23 posted 9/19/2013 11:38 AM

HFSSC - I have a friend with a daughter in the REACH program. I'll ping her for any information about financial support she might have to offer.


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