So OK…at some point our kids grow up. We may not believe it, and while we’re knee-deep in poopy diapers and binkies, it seems too far away to even be able to grasp. But I am here to tell you, little chickens..it
hits you like a freight train straight from hell happens.
Miss Hallee will be 17 less than 2 months. 17. Seventeen. 10+7. No one gave her permission. No one discussed this with me. It just…happened. So. Freaking. Fast. I was just fastening little velcro Barney sneakers like a month ago..how did we get here?
Now in a NT (neuro-typical) kid, we’d be looking at colleges, buying first cars, fighting over broken curfews and the like. But Hal isn’t NT. She’s ASD. (autism spectrum disorder) She will likely always live at home with us, which you know…cool. No empty nest syndrome for us! Yay! *sob*
And with a special needs young adult turning 17 comes a whole-lotta-omg-girl-you’d-better-be-ready-for-this-mess changes in their own right. If your child isn’t already with an agency, you find one. This agency will hopefully navigate your child and you through the oceans and oceans of government and legal red tape that you are about to be tossed into. You need to plan guardianship, which means a lawyer and going to court. You need to set up (hopefully) a special needs trust to provide for your baby when you’re gone (I.Can’t.Even). Piles of forms an inch thick each..sign here and here and here and here and on these 20 as well.
Getting all of this in line now means that hopefully when she turns 18 and is a legal adult, that she won’t be at the end of any lists for services. What will she be doing all day as an adult? Sitting home on her iPad? Umm….no. Girlfriend needs to be busy and productive and out in society. There are some good programs out there for young adults like Hallee, but the budgets have been slashed and slashed again. Waiting lists for almost any special needs services are years..yes YEARS long. Waiting until the last minute isn’t something you want to do.
So what DO I want for Hal? I’ve always known she’ll be at home after school, but doing what? I don’t see her sitting around a table folding bills into envelopes or making arts and crafts all day (not that there’s anything wrong with that) I want…no expect her to be a participating, active contributor to society. But how? And what happens when Mark & I are gone? (never going to happen…denial denial denial) To that end, Mark and I have been working and planning some things..some possibly pretty exciting things that will hopefully give Hallee some great options
I’ll let you know how it goes, yeah?
Oh, and remember that exciting place we were going to go together in my last post? The new place? It closed. I fought on your behalf. I stood outside the building and yelled and shook my fists at the sky..all to no avail. So I’ll find a new fun place for us to go and
you can pay it will be great!!