Ok, so we have decided to go ahead and push all involved parties hard to find a group home for my now 21 year old stepson. As a recap he has Septo Optic Dysplasia, a developmental disability that can have varying degrees of severity or so it seems. In his case, he his legally blind, although he has some minimal peripheral vision. He has several medical conditions, including diabetes insipidus. He is also adrenaline deficient. On top of all of that he is also mentally retarded, as if being blind wasn’t enough.
We are lucky that we live in a County that has services for the disabled; however trying to utilize these is a challenge at times. Dealing with the school system alone is hard enough, especially transportation, so our first hurdle was to find him a place after school as we both work full time. There is after school care for disabled students in the County, however we would have to provide transportation. I know, makes sense right? So, for about 4 months last year we arranged for him to go to a local nursing home at $50 a day. That almost fell through as the nursing home, which is located 5 walking minutes from our house, is not within his school’s boundaries and his (stupid) bus driver refused to drive him there at first. After paying thousands of Dollars to them we though that there must be a better solutions and utilized the services of the Department for the Aging and Disabled. See, we tried to get him into, what is called, the Community Services Board, but they usually don’t accept people until after they age out of school at 23, but we wanted him covered anyway. So, the Aging and Disabled people were able to sign us up with a service that sends a nurse or a caretaker to our house to pick him up from the school bus and stay with him until we come home. As the funding is low for these services through the County, the services is as expected and we spent many hours away from work at home over the last few months.
Well now after almost 9 months the Community Service Board which hands out MR (mentally retardation?) waivers is finally getting started and one of their main services is to provide housing in group homes. The system sucks as the only time new spots open is if someone leaves. They have found a temporary bed at a respite care facility until a spot in a group home opens up, and so we visited them yesterday and are very impressed. The house is newly renovated and very clean. Tonight he will have dinner with them and once school transportation is taken care of he will move in.
Now, to the topic of this post, does that make us bad parents? I know he is at an age when people usually move out any way, but his situation is different. He needs to be among peers and someplace where he will stay and can get used to. We can’t wait with that until we’re not there anymore and he is 60 having to adjust to such a new environment. We know this is the right move, especially since we are seriously considering spending a few years overseas with the baby and this is no place for a person with so many medical needs. It just feels strange.
21 minutes ago