This afternoon at work I was talking to a fellow teacher when she asked me how Kaeden is doing.  This is one of those subjects in which I never quite know how to answer...in general, people want to hear only the good news, the common, "Oh, everything is great!"  However, knowing Kaeden's story and our family history a bit more intimately, many people in our community ask what I would assume to be sincerely.  And it's a difficult question, as I don't have a really good answer.

"He's doing pretty well at the moment,"  I answered.  "He's still in Wijchmaal and has started working at a farm one day a week.  He comes home days in the weekend and that seems to suit all of us best."

The teacher went on to ask how long he can remain in school, and in his home away from home, what his future plans are, etc...and then hit me with some news.

In the paper today was an article about a 21-year-old autistic young man with aggressive tendencies whom lives in the village next to ours.  He also attended Kaeden's school and lived in Kaeden's home away from home.  However, he is now 21, and this demands that his living premises change.  At the age of 21, you no longer qualify to live in Kaeden's home away from home.  And, unfortunately, there is a HUGE waiting list for available resources for these 20-something "kids".  This particular young man's parents were shouting out for any type of assistance they could be offered.  After 13 years living away from home, none of them were able to see a successful future living together.  Yet, legally, it was the only manner.  As parents, we are legally responsible for our adult handicapped children.  Legally, they must have living arrangements.  Functionally, they can't live on their own.  So, what do we as parenst do?  When we have adult children who are aggressive, in addition to being used to living away from home, when they turn 21?  There is no help, no assistance.  We must fend for ourselves and out adult child.  And we start over once again...

I am scared for this coming future we try not to look towards.  I already know that IF Kaeden would come home to live, it would end in disaster...serious disaster...like, death of maiming injury.  It sounds a bit farfetched, but it isn't.  I know, in my heart of hearts, something very bad would come out of this scenario.  But, what other options do we have?

I am frightened of the future.  I try not to let it dominate my here and now, but the truth is that the niggling worry already flls my mind from time to time.  How can it not.  We have 2 years...two years...in which to figure out how to make living possible for all of us, without housing options.  This autism stuff just doesn't get any easier...


Tanya Savko said...

This is so terrible and doesn't even make sense. What about the adults with developmental disabilities who do not have parents or any family members to take care of them? I hope and pray that there are significant changes in the system and better options soon for your family. Thinking of you and sending love.

Heather said...

Hi Tera! I'm Heather and I just wanted to know if you could answer a quick question I have about your blog! My email is Lifesabanquet1(at)gmail(dot)com :-)

hou said...

I hope and pray that there are significant changes in the system and better options soon for your family.
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