One Week Post Discharge.
Time flies. David was discharged on Jan 12 from care. He was discharged to home, which in the books of the facility, is a successful discharge. In truth he was brought home for other reasons, chief among them?
He deserves the opportunity to live in the community. With supports, without supports. Right now, his life exists without supports. He has access to the resource room at the high school, otherwise, right now, he has no support beyond the therapy stuff we have set up for him. Some of which he can’t begin to access for three months because of wait listing.
While I believe he needs support, we are letting him try to live a life outside a facility. We have to keep reminding ourselves, despite what the facility believes, he can’t be cured, his FASD can’t be cured with talk therapy. While his chronological age is 16, his expressive language puts him at around 18, his developmental age is about half that.
This past Tuesday, he started high school in the community, instead of in a private facility. The high school is a huge complex three stories spread out over four city blocks.
We asked for an aide and were denied. So, as we move forward, we document everything. We have already made some scheduling changes, pulled him from Algebra and placed him in a pre- class so that he can further refine his math skills. At this point, I am more concerned with him going to class consistently rather than worrying about the class itself.
David rides the bus each morning, and appears to enjoy it.
We have established activities at the community YMCA, and are working toward an assessment for ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis) which has been used successfully with kids that have Autism, a diagnosis that David has in addition to the Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder.
Mom and I are working toward accommodating David’s disability. Lots of repetition. Lots of repeated instruction and direction. Many points of saying simple three word instruction.
Mom and I are also adapting to a consistent schedule. David thrives on structure. So he knows what will happen and when. Patience is key. Not sure how we are going to do with this change in his life, but we are sure giving it a solid try.
Having him home, there are just three of us with the other kids off to college, is different. Good or bad, we are in this for the long haul with him. We aren’t magical parents, we don’t have huge shoulders to carry the burden of raising a child like David. We are parents. Period. Doing the best we can with what we have to help our son be as successful in life as he can be.
After all, he deserves the opportunity to try.