Need advice for homeless daughter

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Despairing Mom, Sep 28, 2018.

  1. My adopted daughter is 21. She has an IQ of 80 and has ARND, ADHD, and Conduct Disorder. My husband and I have paid for her rent for the past 3 years. She is only qualified to work minimum wage jobs and can't get along with roommates who could help pay the rent.

    My daughter is being evicted in 30 days because the police are frequently at her apartment for fighting and partying. She isn't an alcoholic or addict at this time. She can't move back into our home and we are financially exhausted with paying her rent.

    My husband and I never applied for her to receive disability benefits because we knew that she needed to work as many hours as possible to stay out of trouble. Now I wish we would have applied for her to get disability benefits because she would eventually qualify for housing (but this will take years).

    She has a low IQ and very little common sense. She will not survive very long as a homeless, borderline mentally retarded (intellectually impaired) female. I've tried multiple charity organizations and homeless shelters in her area and they all have long waiting lists.
  2. I should also state that her IQ is 10 point too high to qualify for a developmentally disabled group home. She does not have other mental health diagnoses that qualify her for a group home in my state.
  3. Elsi

    Elsi Active Member

    DM, I am so sorry that you find yourself here. I feel your pain.

    I have two homeless or semi homeless right now. My son C, turning 33 this month, and my daughter S, now 28. It’s been a long road with both of them.

    S very much fits your daughter’s profile. When she was tested in elementary school, her IQ was tested at 81. Cut off for services based in intellectual disability alone was 77. I was told without a formal learning disability diagnosis or a ‘discrepancy’ between expected and actual performance of standardized tests, she did not qualify for an IEP - essentially, her low scores were ‘as expected’, with no discrepancy, so no services. (I understand they’ve since dropped the discrepancy method for the newer RTI, or response to intervention, method, which she probably would have qualified under. Water under the bridge, I guess.) in high school, further testing put her at an 85. Like yours, she went through multiple emergency holds in her teenage years (for self-harm) and one short term residential stay. Waiting times for adolescent psychiatrists were at 6-9 months and they did little for her when they saw her. We tried various medications, which she would not comply with. She has since been diagnosed Borderline (BPD), Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), and Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD). I suspect fetal alcohol syndrome based on what I know of bio mom, but that has never been diagnosed. She is volatile, non treatment compliant, and extremely stubborn.

    I was never able to get her on any services either. She always seemed to fall through the cracks - as you say, not low enough to qualify on intellectual disability alone, and the other diagnoses didn’t seem to qualify her for anything. I didn’t know much about it all, and the whole rest of my life was falling apart during her young adult years, so I didn’t push any further. I wish now I had.

    I have learned that she is capable of more than you might guess based on her tested IQ alone. She is capable of holding down a service industry job, paying rent, etc. she has developed a lot of street smarts. I take the IQ test with a grain of salt anyway - it’s not a flawless instrument, and doesn’t take into account the ability of people to grow with experience and environment. People do grow. Our daughters may never be Rhode’s scholars, but they are capable of learning and growing. I really believe what matters most is not what you start with but what you do with it.

    In contrast, C has a very high tested IQ, around 130, and is still homeless. He dropped out of high school st 17 so he could stay home and read Hegel and Chomsky. Passed the GED with no study and scored in 99th percentile. But on paper, he’s just another high school dropout with a GED and spotty employment history, and barely employable. And he has no common sense or life skills. In some ways, S has the advantage in that area.

    If I had to do it over again, I would have pushed harder for services when S was your daughter’s age. She is out of control now, unwilling to go in for any testing or help. She mainly lives off of men - she is tiny and vulnerable looking and very pretty and knows how to use that to her advantage. She couch surfs when long term arrangements fall apart. Like yours, she is too volatile to do well with regular roommates, and doesn’t earn enough to afford a place on her own. She is an alcoholic and a drug addict, mainly pills and cocaine I think. It breaks my heart. I don’t know how to help her, or even if I can. Like you, I have limited financial resources and can’t subsidize my kids long term without jeopardizing my own security and retirement.

    Others here have had more success and experience in getting their kids on services and I’m sure some will chime in soon. I think if I were you I would keep looking in that direction. It may take some time, but this is a long road we are on.

    Beyond that, remember that she is an adult, low IQ or not, and is making her own choices. She is not so impaired that she can’t be held responsible for those choices. And she may be capable of more than you think.
  4. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Every disabled person under 18 (and over) can and should apply for SSI. You dont need to work like SSDI. Its different .My autistic son got it and does work part time but he gets SSI, is in a nice apartment where he pays only 1/3 of his income and all utilities are covered and has a payee and case manager and he has an IQ that is slightly above normal. If you are in the U.S. you got bad advice from somebody. Im surprised school didnt guide you. It helped us. My son is also adopted and was born with crack in his system and actually has a pretty good life and we never had to pay his living expenses. SSI covers all. He even gets Medicare and Medicaid and has a case manager he can call anytime.

    This is what we were told to do. With academic and medical history in hand, we went to Aging and Disabilities. They told us exactly how to navigate and he got SSI no problem. Everyone born with drug exposure will usually do it. You dont have to have a low IQ. Many issues stop intelligent people from being able to be expected to work normally and sustain themselves and your daughter would likely qualify easily if you seek guidance on the steps. SSDI is for people who became disabled after not being disabled. SSI is for those born disabled. The help is tremendous. My son lives a normal life with sime help. Was your daighter exposed to drugs or alcogol in utero? Even if you dont know they will look at her records and test her competence. They will go tjrough her history and performance in her life. And how she functions now. She will take a functional evaluation. That is through SSI. This counts. IQ does not. Its all about if an adult is reasonably capable of functioning on his or her own. Nothing else.

    My son got SSI in both Illinois and Wisconsin. You dont have to live in a super progressive state to get this. You just need old records and perhaps an updated neuropsychological evaluation. It was a fast process for us. I dont think it takes as long as SSDI.

    Nobody who is truly disabled can be expected to know how to deal with street life and get out of it. But parents cant do it forever either. We run out of money. We die.

    Start with Aging and Disabilities to show you how to do this for your daughter. Write for any info in her birth and medical and school performance and psychiatric records that are there. you Contact the school she went to. Get her scheduled for a neuro psychological evaluation (find neuropsychs at university clclinics) or you may not even need the evaluation. SSI will send you to somebody for no cost. A pattern of not being able to keep a job is key. Part of her benefits will be achoice she has of matching her with a part time job she can handle plus keep her SSI. They send these adults to Vocational Rehab and really do a lot for them. On every level. I am so pleased that I dont have ro worry about my son when I am gone.

    Unfortunately you had no help or guidance and didnt know your daughter could get adult services. She most likely can. I would bet on it.
    But you need to know who to contact and how to do it.

    This is valid in every state.

    Love and luck!
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    Last edited: Sep 29, 2018
  5. Elsi

    Elsi Active Member

    SWOT is was hoping you would chime in here as I know you have the experience!

    Unfortunately I am not at all surprised that DM got no help or guidance from her school system. That was my experience as well. Everywhere I tried I was told mine didn’t qualify. My school system seemed more interested in keeping kids out of services than getting them in them - they wanted to keep SPED enrollment low it seems.
  6. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Certain words trigger services. Autism. FetalAlcohol Spectrum. Drug exposed at birth. Bipolar can. Cognitively disabled and you can get this even with a normal IQ. She needs to have her functionality tested. You need to go to the right people. Aging and Disabilities is a huge help. If necessary get a disability advocate. Every state has them. Call Disability Rights. They cost nothing.

    If you trulycant get the OK take her to a neuro psychologist (a neurologist with extra training in the brain). It is comprehensive and SSI has to take the results into consideration. Even if adult eont soeak much, neuro psycholigists look at body language, eye movements, and other things that help diagnose. Refusing to talk in of itself is a symptom. You can do this

    Elsi, perhaps your child was not tested enough or for the right things. I am sorry you got no help. In particular, it sounds to me as if S. needs it. I am one of those moms who wont take no for an answer so I fought and looked for more help and it took a bit but I got results.

    Never give up!
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2018
  7. My daughter is microcephalic. She can wear a toddler's bike helmet. She has a diagnosis of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS), but this diagnosis has never gotten her any services, except Special Education classes. She graduated at age 20. Finally, THIS YEAR, she mastered how to count money, but she still can't tell time on a analog watch. I wished I had pushed for an autism diagnosis 18 years ago. (long sigh) She is able to maintain a minimum wage job for 4-5 months and then she's fired for some type of explosive or impulsive behavior.

    Thank you for sharing your knowledge. I am going to find my county's Dept of Aging or Disabilities on Monday.
  8. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    With a Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) diagnosis, this is not like school. Thats something that should qualify her for SSI. Her problems are not her fault. Did you adopt her through the state? They have her records. Im sure they gave you her history. My son with autism was a state adoption through foster care and they gave us a very detailed history on paper. This helped him get services even before he was old enough for school. He was two when we adopted him and had veen in Early Childhood Services since infancy. He was NOT that disabled!He could have been denied but he had the right paperwork and a mom who kept pushing. The school probably hated me but I was there for my kid, not the rest of them. Dont take no for an answer. Get all the records you can. There is always somebody above the somebody who says no. You wont be popular if you dont give up but...these are our children. Who cares?

    After school it was easy since we knew how to do it. Goodfor you for pursuing this! Kudos!
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2018
  9. Elsi

    Elsi Active Member

    DM I’m shocked with that level of academic impairment she didn’t qualify for services! S, testing just a few points higher on official IQ tests, still passed those milestones in elementary, even if it took her longer. She operated at a C-B average in elementary when it was mostly about just doing the work, low C’s and high Ds by middle school. In high school she fell very far behind and eventually finished through an online credit recovery program that I’m fairly sure had no actual academic value. But she did finish.

    With the microcephalacy and Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) official diagnosis I have to believe she would qualify for adult SSI services, and it sounds like she desperately needs them. SWOT has some great advice here. Good luck and let us know how it goes!
  10. Smithmom

    Smithmom Active Member

    One point here which is critical. After 18 she is an adult and must apply to everything herself. You must have her sign the applications. But with conduct disorder you can have difficulty getting her to cooperate. The only way around this is to go to court to have her declared incompetent. If she just learned to count money it may not be difficult. This is by state so different states different rules and procedures. Ultimately you may have to go this route anyway.

    The urgent issue is housing. Wish I could say I know a quick answer. One of the places I would call would be the county social services. In fact, I'd take her there and wait on line to see a social worker. Phone calls get info. But sitting in their office in the best way to get urgent action. They will recommend shelters but seeing her will make them understand how inappropriate that is. What you want is Section 8. Some counties will have immediate housing subsidy and some a long waiting list. The other thing to ask for is public housing. Yes, often not the safest places. But some cities have specific public housing for disabled and or elderly. And take all your files with you incl birth cert, medication records, etc.

    I'd also find a local parent support group. For parents of disabled, mentally ill, autism,.. My area has more than one for each of these. There's also ARC, mental health assoc,...etc. Some of these may have their own housing.

    Unless you are retiring SSDI doesn't come into the discussion so forget about that. SSI is what you're applying for and you need to do that at ss. In SOTs state its done in the state social services dept but that doesn't apply in every state. How long the application will take to get approved will also vary greatly by state. Certainly months. Not in time for the imminent eviction. But mandatory in the long term.
  11. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    I started at 14 for my sons future services and got legal guardianship. Recently he was doing so well we went to court to get the guardianship dropped. But you may be able to apply for that. My son can do math and read and graduated high school on time and I still got it. As long as your daughter is with you, you can attend her appointments. She may be glad to hear that there could very well be help for her. If you get guardisnship you sign everything. My son never fought me. He even agreed to guardisnship and was given a payee by the courts. This was all done through services though, not me. We had help. It really advanced my son with his adulting. Autism can make life difficult even if you are not a dummy.

    My sons SSI and our low rentals where we live helped him get immeciate housing. Look around. A disabled person is deemed more needy so hopefully she can get SSI.
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2018
  12. Smithmom

    Smithmom Active Member

    One other note: she can work and get any of the services we've mentioned. Working only means that the amount of the subsidy goes down. On sect 8 her portion goes up if she works. SSI goes down based on how much she makes. I've never heard of a program that didn't encourage work. Frankly, she's unlikely to ever make enough to support herself and everyone knows that. Inability to share space and keep a job go with the territory and these programs know that. Which is not to say that she couldn't lose a subsidy for her behavior. Eg Section 8 will drop people for not paying their co-pay, not paying for property damage, etc. Public housing will evict for convictions, illegal roommates, etc Hopefully you'll have found options before the next eviction. Sadly, it happens.
  13. Smithmom

    Smithmom Active Member

    One other note for years down the sure to tell ss that her disability started at birth, not age 21. Very important for SSDI years from now.
  14. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    My son is on something different from Section 8

    I am not sure but I think it us subsidized housing. It is a different program. From what I have heard it is better. He did get it due to SSI. This apartment complex is specific to adults with various developmental disabilities such as autism. Many of the residents are older and lived there all their lives. My son gets disability payments contigent upon how much he makes each month.
  15. Tired out

    Tired out Active Member

    I read through. Lots of great advice here. In the state we live in the SSAs (service support administrators) are not supposed to give advice they are just instructed to answer the questions we ask, not to actually tell us where to look...ridiculous. We have to rely on other parents and others that have been through this to point us in the right direction.On the other hand, my oldest is physically handicapped. When he was 18 , he and I went to SSI to fill out his paper work and were assigned a caseworker. He was one of the most caring, informative people I have ever had the good fortune to meet. he told us all of the things to apply for, where to go, what to say and how to succeed. There are some very good souls in the world, even some employed by the state.
  16. Smithmom

    Smithmom Active Member

    Oops... Personally when I refer to SSA I mean social security administration. I have never heard of the ssas that you refer to.

    SSI and SSDI are programs of the federal govt SSA. I have been through hundreds of workers at SSA over many years but I couldn't tell you their titles.

    This is just an example of how things vary from state to state. Having been doing this for many years now in my experience job titles and what agency does what changes all the time. My state started terminating employees for these kinds of services years ago. And according to a letter this week is continuing to "outsource" state services. Mind you, this week to the same agency whose executives were charged criminally not long ago. So my advice is not to worry about titles or what agency it is. Just keep asking everyone you talk to until you find what you need.
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2018
  17. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    I would not go to Social Security for help in getting it. They arent helpful. Aging and Disabilities work directly for the disabled (as well as elderly).

    Sadly it is true that if the parent does not ask questions, the parent wont know. We deliberately adopted Sonic, as I call him here, knowing he was delayed, exposed to drugs in utero and would probably need help for his lifetime. And he was already getting services when we adopted him so we had a head start. I am very proactive and act out of "better to be safe than sorry" so I started out alone and lonely finding out all services Sonic was capable of receiving to help the adult outcome and it did not win me friends in the school until much later when he improved so much and the teachers started to like me and realize I just wanted my son to be his best.

    I also did not think he would necessarily be self supporting because of his normal IQ. I could see that he struggled in many important areas. I think its shameful that parents of disabled kids are not told what their kids can get as help from an advocate ir teachers. If we hadnt had a small adoption subsidy, we would have applied early for SSI.

    But most parents are timid about schools and getting help and really dont know where to get it. Or if their child qualifies. They take no as final.

    in my opinion it would be hard for somebody with a barely normal IQ to function at the level needed to pay bills, get his own apartment and work full time without getting at least some money and support. Forrest Gump was an unrealustic movie. Most times these struggling people have hard times and there are less and less jobs in manufacturing etc. than there used to be. And sonetimes there are also learning disabilities which further hurt performance in life, especially work. And very frustrated adults often act out angrily. They shouldnt but it is common.

    I would try for SSI and wriite down questions before going to the appointment, although Aging and Disabilities guided us well and even.sat in on calls to state programs. Ask, ask, ask. Ask anyone who may know. Call your state Disability Rights. You can ask anything even though your daughter isnt on it yet.

    Its unfair but true that the people who push the hardest get the best results when it comes to state services and though SSI is Federal each state determines who qualifies. And I think its a no brainer that your daughter will. She obviously had services in school and wasnt able to graduate until she was 20. Did she get a regular diploma? My son did but always had an IEP...that helped him with SSI.

    I wish everyone with obviously differently abled, difficult children of all ages the best. Some of your success with an adult is whether they want the help or not. My son was always very calm and eager to help himself. He was not a difficult child. I know there is a difference. All any parent can do is learn and try. That is it! Many adults turn down the help. But if they know it is there....what else can we do?

    Love and light! You are all heroes for your kids.
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2018
  18. I want to thank each of you for sharing your knowledge.
  19. My daughter texted me this morning. She's moving in with her ex-boyfriend who is 51. Yes, 51. She's 21 with an emotional age of 10 because of alcohol exposure in utero. He's been very emotionally abusive to her in the past and I recently paid for her to get a new phone number to escape him. He even stalked me after their last breakup.

    She must give away or throw away most of her prized possessions to move into his small house. I'm very worried about her tiny Chihuahua. I told her I could find him a new home if needed. She's says her dog is welcome in this old man's house, but she lies 24/7. She was adopted from an Eastern European orphanage, has incurable Reactive Attachment Disorder (received over $750,000 in numerous therapies/medications
    x 19 years), but can't emotionally attach to anything, so please pray for her little dog.
  20. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    As a dog lover who just paid for spinal surgery for my little dog, I will. Can you try to get her ro give you the dog? If I lived close I would take him to tje rescue where I adopted my baby.