Thursday, October 14, 2010

Now I Know Why I've Been Putting Off That Paperwork

I've been reading a book about transitioning kids with intellectual disabilities from high school into adulthood, and honestly, it's bumming me out. Not that it's a downbeat book, or that it's discouraging about what adult life holds for kids with disabilities. Just that all the bureaucratic hoops parents have to jump through to ensure services for their adult kids seem to require relentless negative thinking. Don't let your child get a high-school diploma, because that will make him ineligible for some services. So will doing too well on an IQ test. Don't tell evaluators about the things your child can do, or she may be found ineligible for assistance; dwell on the things she can't do instead. Don't let your child have any money, hide back-up funds well, or needed supports and assistance will be denied.

This sort of thing is true of a lot of entitlements, I know. But it sure adds to my ambivalence about the whole process. My daughter's over 18 now, and my son's fast approaching, and I haven't done anything, haven't hidden any money, haven't signed anyone up for the department of disabilities, haven't ensured that they look as incompetent as possible on paper. It's a gamble, but I guess I'm throwing the dice in favor of them being able to make some modest way in the world with the help we can give them. I know there are plenty of families who can't take that risk, and I feel for them, having to hop through those particular hoops. Are you navigating this disheartening process now? Or are you a procrastinator like me?

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