Funding Approval: Yesterday we received word that our daughter’s future apartment mate received DDS approval to fund her part of their shared staffing requirements. This was the final patch needed for that section of the crazy quilt of future planning.
Finalizing The Goodbyes: Monday we have the final PPT with our school district. Participating in this “transition” out of the system are our daughter’s boarding school team, her DDS case manager and her new team from Ability Beyond Disability. All aspects of her academic career will be reviewed and plans for her vocational, residential and social skills goals for the future will be collaboratively determined. Our daughter will be an active player in the PPT with her boarding school team via conference call.
Graduation Ceremony #1: Tuesday mom, dad and brother will attend her Project Forward Graduation ceremony at Cape Cod Community college where she has spent a portion of her last two years learning about and training in a variety of vocational arenas with major focus on animal care. She is excited and asked to go out for dinner with us before we head back home. With pleasure.
Final Evaluations #1: I attended the first in a series of final evaluations with my daughter at the community college the day before our vacation. Her area of greatest strength is working with dogs, no surprise to all who know of her devotion to and knowledge of the canine world. Emphasis was placed on choosing work settings that facilitate her ability to focus on the task at hand, whether it be aiding in washing and grooming the animals, socializing or feeding them or cleaning up their sites. Complex settings such as retail pet store chains would be too distracting. We had great fun at the evaluation and the faculty made it super clear to me that our daughter impressed them with her personality, “good manners” and rapport with dogs. She did not, however, enjoy mucking out stalls for horses, “despised the maintenance component” of the vocational rotation, is not fond of retail of any kind and will need considerable coaching initially in all work settings, whether volunteer or otherwise.
Pedestrian Travel Skills On A College Campus: What absolutely floored me, and was clearly indicative of a huge growth spurt, was how my daughter escorted me around the college campus, leading me to the classroom where the meeting was to be. As with most college campuses, big or small, there are a variety of buildings dispersed over several acres and with no apparent pattern to their locations. Despite the somewhat labyrinthine element of the campus and with no time to spare, she swiftly and, I must say, proudly guided a somewhat skeptical me to just where we needed to be. This was a big wow for me and a newly acquired skill for her.
Bravos All Around: Needless to say, I let her know how amazing she is for accomplishing so much so beautifully. You cannot celebrate enough the achievements of one’s children, can you? She has worked hard for years to get to where she is now! I am in awe of the powerful determination of this petite young lady and of the many who aided her in all she endeavored to achieve. Bravos all around.
©Jill Edelman, M.S.W., L.C.S.W. 2011