A Thumbs Up On Planet of The Apes: 8-8-11

Afternoon Review: As soon as I finished my post yesterday, with the assumption that our daughter was done with me for the day, she called. Back from her movie, and eager to share her impressions, we talked for about forty-five minutes. James Franco rocked, and the ape movie received a thumbs up from someone whose opinion I value greatly. Then she shifted to cinema news, what’s coming. “Did you know that Gwyneth Paltrow is in a movie with Matt Damon, Kate Winslet and Marion Cotillard from Edith Piaf?” No way. What a cast. “And Robert De Niro is in a new movie too.” “Oh, I love him, is it a comedy?” “No I think it is a drama.” “Too bad, I love his comedies like ‘Analyze This’ and ‘Analyze That’.” “Yeah and ‘Meet The Parents’.” And so it goes. How lovely that our daughter calls to share her news without inserting a need or an agenda for mom to fulfill, just a common interest: movies, stars and apes.

Vocational Tuning: The vocational director of our daughter’s program emailed that the senior residential setting may be a possibility for our daughter but she prefers that the apartment-mates not be assigned the same settings, to keep the programming “individualized.” The apartment-mate has declared an interest in working with the elderly; our daughter did not. She is right. I am not sure that our daughter will be as attracted to the setting as her mate. But I know the setting will be attracted to her. She is a hoot and knows how to schmooze…would immediately get into whether residents have or had pets (some still do), and soak up family relationship information, in other words, the family tree. She can track a minimum of three generations. Should a daughter or grandson appear on the scene while she is there, no doubt she will know, by the end of the visit, their animal population including names and breeds, as well the names of their children or what schools they attend. She is the ultimate Yenta or social worker doing an intake. The apple didn’t fall far from that part of the tree either.

Town Social Worker: I plan to stop in to meet the social worker who works for the town of Ridgefield. Perhaps she and I can think of some possible work options. The Ability Beyond Disability staff have already contacted her, which is impressive to me. They are on the ball, hunting down both recreational (they are abundant) and vocational opportunities for the ladies.

Free To See: The town is bursting with free activities and free is the word. The vocational coach (she is actually a life skills worker/special ed teacher) took our daughter to the Katonah Museum, just over the Connecticut border in New York State. The admission is free with the Ridgefield library card and the current show featured an artist whose work our daughter described as the “I am not sure what it is.” genre. (Turns out to be Kay Sage and Ives Tanguy.) However, our daughter overheard a guide give the history of the artist and her spouse, which ignited her curiosity. The coach was impressed by how much information she readily absorbed and utilized in viewing the paintings. (The girl loves a good story) “I could tell she had been to a lot of museums.” Yep, the first week of their lives both our children, stuffed into those chest pouches moms and dads wear, visited the Yale University Art Gallery and the Yale Center For British Art, located across the street from each other in nearby New Haven. Some kids go to baseball games. Some kids go to museums.

I Love This Coach: She is so attuned to our daughter, appreciative of her abilities and an advocate for her growth. As a parent in the special needs world, or any world, you have your eyes and ears open to who gets your kid, and who doesn’t. She does. Then you say a silent prayer that they don’t get pregnant, fired or tired. Amen.

©Jill Edelman, M.S.W., L.C.S.W. 2011

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