Thursday, October 6, 2011

Homeschool- the introduction

Just a short blog today. We met with the Artsy Fartsy home school instructor.  He's not so Artsy Fartsy. More like young, athletic and very nice.  I'm feeling very optimistic that this could really work.  Tommy took to him instantly. 

Initially our overall goal had been to use home school as a transition to eventually get him into a DD run program/school nearby.  The program is divided into 2 parts.  One being a school type setting from pre-school up to teenagers. The other being an Adult facility for those who are fortunate enough to get the few waivers that are available. There is a very large vocational program there as well as a horticulture greenhouse area about a good square acre in size.  The list is never-ending to what they offer from landscaping, growing fruits and veggies that are sold at the farmers market to help with funding of the program to building maintenance (during our first walk through the students were repairing sidewalks. Pouring and mixing AND laying concrete).  MANY many options.  Tommy has so many skills when it comes to vocational training.  He LOVES cash registers and is great at doing math in his head and working with money, so when he was at his prior placement, he ran the register at the store. He's ultimately lazy, so any physical activity he'll only last 10-20 minutes before he begins the dramatics of "i sooooooo tired!' lol  

Over the past couple of months, the hubs and I have been talking about... what do we do here.  We're at this turning point where these decisions we make now are going to effect the long-term goals we have in place.  We're torn between do we do what we KNOW he is capable of knowing that there may be resistance? Or, do we continue to preserve our family life, and keep things here to a minimum?  

Hubs would much rather Tommy finish out his credits necessary for his diploma here at home.  To home school Tommy, and let it be done.  We've been through so much physically, mentally and emotionally over these past 5 years. However, I'm still on the fence.  Part of me is just so tired.  I have this boy 7 days a week. 24 hours a day.  I'm seriously tired.  Most of us are able to let our kids sit in front of the TV, or the computer so we can catch a break.  I can not do this with Tommy.  These 2 things are his triggers.  Granted he hasn't had a meltdown in some time now, we can't afford to lose another TV or Computer to his 'beating the crap out of it' because a commercial comes on that he doesn't like, or the computer is 'working properly'.  My breaks come in 1 hour spurts of 'free time' where he does his preferred activity which is- lay in mama's bed and play with his iphone.  If it weren't for food, and my insistence on doing chores around the house.. that's all he'd do. So of course, I'd love to be able to send him someplace, a school or work program, for 4-6 hours a day. But, here's what's holding our thought process back.  Tommy is aggressive.  If you have an adult child, or teenager.. you know that when your child has that additional label attached to his disability, a LOT of doors close.  (i know people are anti-labels for their kids, but i am not. Labels serve a purpose. They categorize groups of individuals. I'm ok with that. I know my kid is aggressive. It IS ok to call him that) Doors close because though Tommy falls under the category of High-Functioning, he has no control over his emotions. His coping mechanisms are very limited. His meds have him stable, but that's it. He can NOT safely go into the community independently and hold a job SAFELY. The potential is always going to be there. Especially since he's STILL going through puberty.

Another aspect we're looking at is.. my husband works for the government.  The facility he works at actually has employees from that particular county's DD office.  These individuals clean the facility. Bathrooms, break rooms etc.  My husbands co-workers are disgusting fucking pigs.  They're horrible to the special needs people that come in to work. They mock them. Make their work harder. Make fun of them behind their backs after being nice to their face.  Yes I've already let the DD facility know of this but it hits home to my husband.  He see's that and does NOT want Tommy to be subjected to people like that. 

We never take services that are not necessary for Tommy.  I've said it a million times and I'll say it again.  There are FAR too many people taking advantage of the system.  I know too many people that hopped aboard the train that allows them to get funding, and they CONTINUE to TAKE the funding, when they KNOW their child no longer NEEDS that funding.  It MADDENS ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I am so stuck. Do I put him into this vocational program, and train him for a job, that he may never have? Once he turns 22, it's done.  Jobs are scarce here in NE Ohio. Employers won't consider taking someone that is a potential liability to them.  So what do I do????????  

I'm really leaning towards changing our IEP from vocational to educational (which would end his vocational training) and just finishing the credits at home.  Somewhere inside me though, a piece of me feels like i'm giving up on Tommy.  I'm really not, but I FEEL like I am.  I've laid SO MUCH pressure on him over the course of these 5 years. I really think that's what BROKE him.  UGH.  To be the holder of someone's fate, weighs on me.  I still have another month to decide.. and I'm sure it will be ALL that's on my mind for the next month.  *sigh*  I guess for now.. we just start the home school (next week) and take it from there.

Hmm.. so much for the SHORT blog huh?


  1. Yeah, I'm not positive this qualifies as short. . . not that I have any room to judge.

    So much of what you're going through is hard for me to relate to because our situations are so different. BUT. . .

    I had a friend who had two daughters. His daughters were born 3 years apart like my daughters, but his were 9 years older. He used to drone on and on about what they were doing, and I would listen because he was my friend, but I frankly couldn't relate to any of it. . . I should have paid closer attention. His unrelate-able stories were like little time capsules communicated from my childrens' futures.

    The segue here is that I don't know Lily's future anymore than anyone can ever know their child's future, but the things you're dealing with now are things that I MAY have to deal with in 11 years. . . so I'm paying attention.

  2. Thanks Jim :) Hopefully, things will be easier by the time your little ones get up here.

    Its so hard sometimes to know what to do. Thankfully, i don't have to make any decisions today :)

  3. The feeling of being responsible for someone else's future ... oh yes, I get that. Plus the sound of doors closing. Good luck with your decision. Things are really settling down for us now, and I really hope you'll find a good solution too.

  4. I don't know. I just don't. But I do know you will find the solution that will work for your whole family. It's not easy, is it? Thinking of you.

  5. I second what Jim said.

    This choice that you must make - wow. You feel the weight of it, obviously. Tough, tough choices. Since I have zero experience or advice, I will just be thinking about you and your family and praying that whatever the "best" decision is decided. :)

  6. Part of me says go for the hs diploma, b/c it's a hs diploma, and that looks a lot better than the alternative, but if it isn't going to help him actually land a job...?

    Do you see him ever working? Living outside your home? I really have no advice b/c my kid is 7 and I don't even want to think of these things (I totally think about them all the time, who am I kidding)...but that's a huge I have just rambled here for no reason! Go me.

  7. I did like this part, though:He's ultimately lazy, so any physical activity he'll only last 10-20 minutes before he begins the dramatics of "i sooooooo tired!' lol

  8. LOL Jen You know what.. if he WANTED to work, he'd do fabulous things! His abilities are limitless. He has ZERO drive though. I just don't see how we can MAKE him WANT to work. I don't want him living outside the house. I can't even wrap my head around that. The diploma is something i wont let go of. Hub's would rather just be done with EVERYTHING. I can't let him walk away from the diploma. He's done too much work all of these years to just walk away from that.

    He's never been easy to figure out so I guess this is just par for the course really.