Where do we go from here?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by lmf64, Apr 10, 2012.

  1. lmf64

    lmf64 New Member

    A little background: My son is 18 and technically a senior, but he hasn't had a traditional education since third grade and has only sat in one class since he has been in high school. He has severe learning disorders along with his other dxs and to this day reads at maybe an early kindergarten level. His high school education has consisted of trying to get him to a level of being able to work a job of any sort. We tried for almost 2 years to get him to work with the disability agency in their workshop, but he refuses as he doesn't see himself as needing the assistance they offer and will not work with the other people in the workshop (okay we all know he'll need some sort of support his entire life and learning to work in the workshop or with others who are disabled is something he will need to do at some point). This year he has spent the year working as a sort of internship on his para's farm feeding the animals, doing light chores and helping the farmer work on equipment. The last month or so he has decided he isn't going to work on the farm because he doesn't get paid for doing it. I understand wanting to be making money for doing work, but we haven't been able to come up with a way to get him paid thus far (there is some talk at this time of the disability agency paying him for the work he does but as of right now he's not being paid) a couple of weeks ago the teachers decided to pay him with bonus bucks so he can buy things in their school store, so he's been working again, but...
    We (case manager, teachers, school admin) have worked for the last two years to get a new super senior program set up through our local community college. It is an excellant program and it works wonderfully for the kids in the program this year, but it includes three hours a day of lifeskills classroom training. We are at this point wondering if he will be able to work with this program, because of the classroom portion. I know they are required to provide him with FAPE until the June after he's 21, but I'm so confused as to where we can go from here.
    He needs to have something to do with his days and if the program we've developed won't work, what can we do? He thinks he can just walk into anyplace and get a job. Lately it's been mainly retail type jobs he's talking about and I know that if all he had to do was stand around and tell people about what he knows about what they're thinking about buying he'd do fine, but noone is going to give him a job that doesn't involve work Know what I mean?? I've tried to figure out what kind of job he can do without being able to read and have come up with farm work, auto detailing, landscaping, construction but there aren't jobs like that out there anymore due to the economy (at least in our area).
    He wants to get his license and I just can't do it. I'm afraid of what would happen if he is driving and someone makes his angry. I'm afraid he'll get lost when he's driving and not be able to tell anyone where he is because of his inability to read. I have recently been named his guardian and can keep him from getting his license for the time being, but it also means that I will have to drive him to work (if he does get a job somewhere) and that means my schedule will have to be open for it. I haven't worked for three years and really need to get busy trying to find a job, but I can't leave him home alone all the time while I work or he'll be liable to burn the house down trying to cook for himself.
    We've talked about trying to get him into an assisted living type of place, but he's not ready for it yet and who knows when he'll be ready.
    So my question is where do we go from here? If he doesn't continue in the super senior program what will he do all day? We have another meeting on Thursday and I know they're looking to me for guidance as to his future and I just don't know.
    One last question. Do I have him walk the stage and get his diploma holder when we all know it's a sham? He isn't educated and won't get an actual diploma, they only hand out the holders on the stage and the students get their diplomas when they turn in their caps and gowns. UGH what do I do? Help!
  2. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    (((Hugs))) This is a hard place to be. Have you registered him with all the adult services in your state? Maybe he'd do better in a group home with others his age and functional level. (I'm not talking about a treatment center; just a supported-living arrangement.)

    The sad reality is that there is very little paid work for significantly impaired people. Perhaps if he gets on SSI, that can be his "pay" for his volunteer work.
  3. lmf64

    lmf64 New Member

    His children's mental health case manager is trying to find a good fit for him, but it's going to be at least a couple of years before he's at that point. We need to get him to see that even though he can carry on a conversation with anyone (he's a very social young man as long as the person he's talking to isn't disabled) that he's not your average person.
  4. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    I sent you a PM with some area-specific possibilities. I will keep my thinking cap on. I know I'm going to be in the same place you are in about 4 years so it will be interesting to see what you find around here.
  5. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    I live in an area that does better for these kinds of kids than for the ones that can function independently... so I've seen some neat accommodations etc.

    Here... no, they don't get their formal grade-12 "maltriculation" diploma... but if they've stuck it out in school for 12+ years, they do get a certificate of recognition... a formal document to put in their diploma holder. If they haven't been doing that where you are, maybe you should start a new trend.
  6. lmf64

    lmf64 New Member

    Yes he'll get his IEP diploma for sticking it out. I'm just unsure if I'll be able to get him to continue to cooperate with going to school after he gets it Know what I mean??
  7. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Ahhh.... that is a different problem. He isn't "done" yet. Hmmm.... quite the catch-22.
  8. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I think you need to get him on disability and find some way of getting him into some sort of structured group home so he is cared for. He could probably work in construction if he can follow directions. Maybe not as a true carpenter or the like but they often need helpers. You most likely wont see these jobs listed. Call actual construction companies. Or even better yet, if you happen to see any commercial buildings going up, stop and ask at one of those little trailers they have there and tell them you want to talk to one of the drywall crews. Ask them if they could possibly use someone as a helper or a clean up person. Explain the situation. I will bet you dollars to donuts someone on that crew has a difficult child at home. Or is a difficult child.
  9. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi there.
    I have a son of the autism spectrum so I know what you mean.
    I would take your son to DVR (Department of Vocational Rehab) and have them assess him for a paid job. There are jobs out there where the reading-impaired can still work. And there are sheltered workshops. God help me, I could not bear for Sonic to be home all day without anything to do. We are working with DVR to get him set in a job. But the school SHOULD be helping you and you SHOULD have some plan for him for next year before he graduates!

    (((Hugs))) If you want to "talk" more just PM me.