Our Daughter’s Question: 4-18-11

Keeping Her In The Loop: Our daughter called yesterday with a question, “Did M. (our case manager) find out about the funding yet? Furthermore, “When will we know about the apartment?” I can hear both interest and excitement in her voice.

An Informed Consumer: For years I have kept her abreast of the broad strokes of managing a special needs education and now adulthood. She tells anyone interested that she could not stay an additional year at her boarding school because “my parents can’t pay out of pocket.” She seems to like that terminology, though I am not sure how she pictures this “out of pocket” deal. I see it as a pocket turned inside out and empty.

Verbal and Empowered: At meetings where we interviewed various service agency providers or visited some residential communities near her school, as well as at home in Connecticut, our daughter asked appropriate questions such as who is around during emergencies; what are the social activities. She first seemed to view her future life as a newer version of her campus school life. But over time, with these visits to apartments, agencies, and potential work settings, she is getting the lay of the land.

The Fruits of Our Labors: I can see the fruits of our labors. The more meetings she attended, the more settings we visited, or service providers and case managers she questioned, the greater her maturity and readiness. Seeds were sown, and shoots are appearing everywhere.

©Jill Edelman, M.S.W., L.C.S.W. 2011

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