Last Thursday was Boo’s final IEP meeting. Bug and I have been attending his IEP meetings for the past18 years. This one was very sweet. I brought in coffee and donuts to say thank you for meeting so early in the morning. Teacher Rosalind had set up a little power point presentation about Boo, his likes, his dislikes and his strengths. While she showed the slides, Boo narrated on his AAC. He was able to tell us his name, how old he was, where he went to school, and much more. He told us he loved his family and wanted to continue living with them. I was very proud of him; this was a lot of work for the big guy. Dismissed from his part of the meeting, he happily dove into the donuts.
The focus of the meeting was two part, what we wanted to work on with Boo in the coming year, and what we hoped to happen next year. His main focus of concern is using his AAC to his best ability and working on life skills. For next year, I have applied at two different adult day training programs. I have a phone interview with one of them, Phoenix Alternative, on Monday afternoon. The other option is Northeast Metro Connection. Both sound really good on paper, but it is hard to suss a place out until you actually see it. Rosalind has agreed to take us all on field trips to visit these places. She is prepping Boo to be able to ask questions and advocate for what he wants at these places.
For a long time, the idea of aging out of the system scared me. Boo has been in public school for over 18 years. He loves it, always has. But I think that good things are coming. I am exciting to see some of the programs out there. Jon Bentley, his case manager, has applied for a 30% increase in his budget to cover the cost of a program. I am hopeful that Boo can attend the program of his choice, and there is still money in the budget for me to be his paid parent PCA. The programs run about 6 hours a day, not enough time for me to get an outside job, so I want to stay committed to Boo. Also, the last few weeks have showed me again and again that I cannot work outside the home. I may be away from Boo 7 hours a day, but I am always on call, if he gets sick, has a seizure, needs me in any way. When this happens, I drop everything I am doing and go pick him up. There are always numerous doctor and therapy appointments we attend, that would make working outside the home completely unreasonable. Someone asked me recently if my working conditions make me feel trapped. The answer is simple, no, not at all. I love Boo like life itself and helping his live his best life is all I want to do.
Right now, I am happy. I have coffee and sunshine. I am in my favorite chair. The dogs are sprawled at my feet. The cat is eating. Boo woke up at 3 am, wanted a drink, and then returned to bed and has yet to make a peep. Thank you to all my readers who have checked in over the past couple of weeks. It has been a wild ride, and it is good to know that we are not alone. Please continue to follow Boo in his last year of public school and the adventure that continue beyond. Peace out and be good humans.