Dennis and I visited Midland for the first time on the day of the prom many years ago. We heard the buzz in the hallways about eye shadow and dresses. It was hard to believe we would EVER have a kid going to the prom. I blinked, and….
Ethan LOVES to wear his suit. He loved his rented convertible Mustang. I loved seeing these young adults step out of limos, pose for pictures, pair up, smile and encourage their parents to leave. Go.
The parents who were told their child might never walk or talk. The parents who were told their children would never recognize their faces. The parents who decided that they couldn’t NOT be parents and were willing to parent children who others deemed ‘too difficult’. The parents who have endured years of people staring and pointing. The parents who in the dark of night wondered how any of this was ever going to be ok.
Those parents – told to leave – by those kids.
It rained all afternoon. It drizzled and it was gray. But as the time came to gather in the parking lot at the restaurant and have their moment in the proverbial sun, that was exactly what they got.
If securing competitive employment is going to be challenging to someone due to reasons including, but not limited to, being blind or deaf, having an intellectual impairment or have difficulty learning tasks necessary to maintain employment, a person may be eligible for the services offered by the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services.
‘Vocational rehabilitation services’ may include such things as job training and job sampling, education for specific employment situations and ongoing support in the form of job coaches and consultations. This is where DVRS comes in.
Our first contact with a representative with DVRS was at Ethan’s IEP meeting. A rep was contacted and invited by the social worker at Ethan’s school. You can request this or invite them yourself. I have found the office very responsive and helpful, so far.
If you have a child with developmental disabilities and/or medical, social, emotional, and educational issues, you will, no doubt, be well acquainted with papers. Hundreds of them. Stashed and stacked in several locations with the one you need right now, nowhere to be found.
After my first blog post, three people contacted me via text & phone regarding ‘the system’ and ‘the process’. These friends were not comfortable or ready to post details regarding people to question, who may not know as much as they let on, and warnings about agencies that do not function even closely to how their representatives maintain that they do. But they wanted to inform me.
We’ve been cruising on auto-pilot. Everything has been under control. I haven’t asked Dennis to come to an IEP meeting in years. This time it was different. This IEP meeting was the first in a long line of meetings that will punctuate Ethan’s last year of educational entitlement. Young adults with disabilities can attend public education through the age of 21. Ethan will turn 21 in June of this year.