As I mentioned in my last post I have started exploring and researching residential placement as well as transition to adulthood. I will be talking about this subject a lot. We have started the transition process already even though Dustin is only 15 and John is 10.
Our first step was switching our waiver case management to one that they will use in adulthood. We did that this week.
I also acquired a list of residential facilities in our area and state. I first called the local places and out of 4 on the list was able to narrow down to 1 that Dustin may qualify for. The others he did not. He was too young for them. They are facilities for adults with services starting at the age of 18. The other fact I found in researching this subject is a wait list. Most facilities have them as does most disability services in general. So even if we wait for placement until adult age 18, we still need to be researching and exploring now, picking a facility and getting put on the list, for the wait list could be 6 months to 2 years in some cases.
The purpose of residential as I mentioned before, is not because I am giving up on my child, but because my child wants to be independent and live on his own someday. In order to do that I have to get services set up for him to assist him when he is an adult and teach him the skills he needs to be on his own, living in an apartment, having a job and so on. I have to look at this, despite the current non compliance issues that we have, in a positive light, and make this transition as positive as possible for Dustin. This is not the end of the line but the beginning of great things to come.
Though I have mixed emotions about it I know that it is in Dustin’s best interest in the long run. That is what matters. Residential does not mean a permanent housing. There are permanent placements available the if the need is there, but a lot of them are temporary placements also to teach the individual and prepare them for independent living down the road. That is what we seek.
Tomorrow is a big day. I tour my first residential home for kids and teens. I am going to see what this all looks like and how it all works since I am new to this aspect of having a child with a disability. My uncle who is disabled has participated in similar programs in his life and at the age of 61 is living a comfortable life in his own apartment with outside assistance coming in as needed. That is what I hope for both my kids.