Friday, March 11, 2016

Facing the dreaded milestone - and a new pair of earrings

A new pair of earrings
For years I've parried "So what will you do with C. when she's 21?" with my head-in-the-sand answer: "I'm overwhelmed by just pondering tomorrow."

But the social worker at C.'s school hasn't allowed the Hubby and me to play ostriches anymore. Gently but insistently, she has gotten us to face the bleak reality that looms.

C. has six months left of subsidized "education". Afterwards, the government does a pretty thorough hand-washing of her. Technically, it offers C alternative "frameworks", a.k.a. "clubs" in local parlance. There are three such options in our city and, accompanied by the social worker and a couple of other parents, the Hubby has visited two of those.

We didn't expect anything short of abysmal and we weren't disappointed.

In one of the frameworks, there was one staff member assigned to 12 - TWELVE! - people with severe disabilities.

In the other framework, the staff/charges ratio was slightly better. But there were no properly trained employees, and less than a handful of the people being cared for were in C.'s condition. All of the others could walk, talk and even do some productive, if monotonous, work. C. would spend her time un-stimulated in her wheelchair.

The one setting we haven't checked out - but will soon - doesn't promise anything different.

So, with no acceptable solutions on offer we've begun fantasizing about organizing home care for C. We envisage a steady stream of top-notch therapists arriving at our door to propel her forward. In addition, we'd have somebody to tend to her physical needs for several hours a day to enable me to have a life too.

Needless to say, this scenario would demand a huge expenditure. The government discourages this sort of solution by providing minimal financial assistance to parents of adults with severe disabilities. Its fists only open - and very wide - when parents opt for institutionalization. As I've raged on often, in this country, institutions for people with disabilities enjoy favored status.

There is a chance that our our financial straits will be remedied in the near future by a windfall about which I can't elaborate. If it does, our pipe dream stands to  materialize. I'll keep you posted.

In the meantime, this week's investment in C. was these new earrings (photo above). They're barely visible but at least they don't get caught on her clothing, get ripped off or exasperate her teacher and aides. 

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