Anyone familiar withe Depart of Vocational Rehab? Son has to go...

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by MidwestMom, Mar 17, 2012.

  1. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Sonic is graduating this year. He just had a long work assessment with a sheltered workshop, which I hoped would open a door to the future. It didn't. We were told, "Oh, he's so GREAT! I wish we had TEN of him! He works so WELL!" I guess I should be pleased, however this means they won't keep him...he is too high functioning for the program. The school counselor suggested he go to our local tech school, which is much like a two year college in most states (but we have tons of tech schools here). So I called the special needs director at the college and she said, well, he would need to take a test first and pass. He has to be reading and doing math at a ninth grade level. Um, he is at a sixth grade level. He'd have to get to ninth grade before he'd be admitted. And he isn't really interested in any programs either. He wants to work.

    So our next step is the school referred us to the Department of Vocational Rehab. Anyone who needs a job can get set up there, and there is a waiting list, but it's not that long. Anyone have any experience with this? I hear they find appropriate placements when a person has special needs. But I"m really confused now. He is going to have trouble with everything from filling out an application to making eye contact with an interviewer to doing the job if it gets too complicated...I really hate this. It's not like the economy is great either. Sonic does try hard and work hard. He could get a cleaning job or something like that, but it would have to be very well thought out.

    The joys of high functioning autism!
  2. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    That's exactly what they do. If it's anything like ours, you should be very pleased.
  3. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    The Dept of Voc Rehab is awesome around here. They help people who need supports in order to be able to work, regardless of if that is a job coach or trainer or help interviewing or the need training of some kind. LOTS of people have no clue what they do, which is why they have a shorter waiting list than other sources of help. A friend of mine worked as a job coach for a couple of years before she went back to grad school. She didn't need help any more than any other psychology major who didn't listen when everyone told them that you need at least a master's and usually a PhD to do the jobs most people think of when they sign up for that major. Her longest assignment through Dept Of Voc Rehab was with a fiftysomething year old man who swept floors and did basic cleaning at a grocery. This gentleman was super sweet, had held the job for several decades already and the owners noticed that he was showing signs of early alzheimers or something of that nature. He was developmentally delayed but would forget things like what to do with a broom due to the illness. She spent the day mostly keeping him on track and making sure he didn't hurt himself by using something inappropriately. Without the Dept of Voc Rehab paying for her to work with this gentleman, he would have had to be fired and then his elderly mom would not have known what to do with him all day. He wasn't yet bad off enough to qualify for alzheimer's programs that were available at that time.

    She also worked with a teenager who was unable to work with-o more direct supervision that a business could provide. She said the teen was really sweet but just didn't understand basic social skills and needed 1:1 help to learn what was and wasn't acceptable in the workplace and how to do basic cleaning and busboy type work.

    Dept of Voc Rehab paid her salary while she was at work with her clients The employer not only got this extra person to train the challenged employee, the also got financial incentives for hiring the employee and allowing her to work wth the employee. It was a complete win-win for the employer as long as they recognized that they could NOT require my friend to do the job that the client was paid to do. One restaurant tried to schedule her for different hours than her client and wanted her to wait tables during those hours. It was not a great situation because the employer was determined that my friend was her employee and would do the same amt of work as any other employee would do in addition to keeping the client dong what needed to happen.

    This was quite a few years ago, but my friend LOVED the job. It is what helped her decide to work with kids with special needs.

    So give Dept of Voc Rehab a chance. The worst that can happen is that it isn't rght for Sonic. In which case you help him figure out what he would like to do and then how to help him learn to do what the job will require of him. He might be great at commercial cleaning. There are companies who hire people to go and clean banks, etc... after hours. He might do ver well at a job like that.

    I hope this is a very helpful thing for Sonic!
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Thank you. I am really worried and will be until he is settled. He could actually work independently once he knows what to do and he is appropriate with others, although you can sort of tell that something is "off" with him because he looks down a lot and appears to be very shy. One of my friends said that, if she didn't k now him, she would have thought, "Probably ADHD." He also fidgets with his clothes a lot. And taking a shower is a huge issue! He can really smell and he needs somebody other than Dad and I to tell him he has to be clean. He will listen if a third party insists.
  5. buddy

    buddy New Member

    OH man! Transition planning is supposed to be like the IEP, they build it for him not he does or doesn't fit into their program.....I read your other post....such a bummer in a way that he has been such a rock star student!

    I am not there yet but have been calling ahead because the folks at Courage Center mentioned that THEY have vocational training etc. They said you can go thru DVR and they then can contract with them to provide services too. It sounds like DVR here starts in grade 11. I will keep plugging away but it is nice to see that some of you have had good experiences and I hope you find the same MWM! He sounds like such a great kid and it will be really interesting to hear how this all works out for him. My girlfriend just fought our district and won her transition IEP to include academic prep for college. His acuplacer scores were low but his grades in school have been A's and B's. He tests poorly. So she wanted him to be coached to do better on the test to be able to enter a program that will allow him to meet his potential and if not then to find another way. SO frustrating they said that they would work on it during down time when the kids in a cooking class were not doing much. HUH??? he didn't fit in with the "low" kids so they were ignoring his needs. She was so mad. (another sp ed teacher herself...she is really so fed up).

    Looking forward to your updates.....
  6. keista

    keista New Member

    Voc Rehab is supposed to be an awesome program. The way it was described to me was that it's like having a guidance counselor and IEP for AFTER HS, BUT you actually get better results!
  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Thanks both of you!

    buddy, he has been transitioning for four years, but he is one of those k ids with a solid label and obvious Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) who is too high functioning, but not high functioning enough, if you know what I mean. He can't compete in the workforce with others and needs help with transitions...but he can do some jobs and will really put his heart and soul into his job. He probably would not do well working full time, but that's ok...he will probably get social security when his adoption subsidy runs out (they extended it until age 21 for him).

    Tech school is not for him right now, really. He isn't interested in any of the programs they have and would have to start out taking remedial high school classes first before they'd let him take anything else. The only difference is...we'd have to pay for those high school classes. I'm not sure we could get a full scholarship. If he was wildly excited, we'd find a way, but what he really wants to do is get a job.

    Thanks for the support, all. I feel better now. Buddy, I will let you know how it goes. I k now you will be in my spot one day :) It's really not that bad, I'm just a worrier :)
  8. buddy

    buddy New Member

    I read through the Ohio subsidy stuff to and suspect Q's will be extended to 21 too. I was told the same that that is when he can have SSI...someone recently said to apply for it now but I was always told it was one or the other. I would prefer to stay with the subsidy, it is not income dependent and though it is not as much as he would get for ssi it is never a concern. Glad to hear that that worked out for you too.

    Best of luck to him. And what a great graduation too! So, will you for sure accept the diploma and not use any school transition services??
  9. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Buddy...we decided to try to apply for SSDI for Sonic and guess what? They told us that the subsidy is consisdered HIS income, even though it's not income and is sent to me, not him. So we did have to make an either/or choice and the subsidy is more than the disability would be.

    When I asked about how his subsidy is his income they said something like we would not be getting it if not for him and that it was for him so they were going to use it as income. A call to the main office in Madison confirmed it. That's ok. We'll wait then.

    Lucas is going to get a regular diploma. He has been mostly mainstreamed so he earned it. But his IEP still follows him. Thank God (and I mean it heartily) for that.
  10. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    We have Voc/Rehab for difficult child#2 who is Aspergers, ADHD, etc. His counselor is not the sharpest pen in the pack but he does have some opportunities that he would not have with-o the affiliation. One of the best perks is a connection to the VOA program that has independent living facilities available. Good luck. DDD