first day of a new program

First day of Julia’s transition program at Community Connections designed to teach her independent living and employment skills. They have a huge hill to climb.

Anxieties of the morning: The van didn’t come (It showed up at 9:15, a half hour late) and it was less stressful for me to drive her than for her to wait for transportation.  She brought drawing materials with her to the program and I encouraged her to use them if she has time.  Julia has a brand new rash on one arm (although it might be moving to both arms).  I don’t know what it is.  There is Sarna in the front of her backpack which works to calm the itch much of the time.  She also brought her phone which has proven to be disastrous at times but it wasn’t worth a morning tussle.

In the car, she began asking for the limits to be taken off her phone—this is, traditionally, a line of conversation that escalates Julia’s emotions until she has a  meltdown or she threatens suicide.  In the past, my line, which was of no help, was that I wanted to see her show responsibility and then I would take off the limits.  I have plenty of examples of responsibility and offered all sorts of help in taking it on.  Today, I told her that if she wanted, I would take off the limits after school and she could do as she wanted.  For the moment, this ended the conversation.

The van showed up after I had returned home from dropping Julia off.  According to the driver, he had the wrong instructions for picking up students.  There was no one in his van at that time. I’ve emailed with her case manager and the program coordinator about transportation.

Her case manager emailed us with Julia’s schedule for today and tomorrow and yesterday, we printed it out and went over it.  It is extremely undemanding, any less demanding and she would be at home.  I hope she can get through it successfully.  

The road ahead is long and unknown.

Before breakfast, my contact at DDS call me back about Julia’s application for adult services.  The referral was filed in September of 2019.  In September 2020, at the phone intake appointment with John Blaney of DDS, I was told that it would be 8-10 months before their psychologist would review application and make decision.  I called at the end of May, 2021, and was told that the DDS application will be reviewed in September, 2021.  This morning I was told that the application may be reviewed this month and that I could call back in October. 

As for me: Optimism is not easy and I have been gritting my teeth and taking it all one day at a time.  Facebook is not my friend—post after post of pictures of Madison classmates and a few from Newton, announcing the start of college and moving into dorms along with  the shiny, smiling faces of Julia’s peers.  I want to know what these young people are doing; however, this milestone is a tough one for me.

2 thoughts on “first day of a new program

  1. Suzanne, with the start of week 4, I’m on the other side, with bus duty in greeting students, and communicating about needs at the end of the day still being tweaked.with the the arrival of some new students, who don’t have para educators and need them, the need for further hiring is apparent, with texts during the day to switch or squeeze coverage between students. Thankful for the meditation room during my am prep free time, which no one uses but me so far, to get stillness before the start of student arrivals. Aah autumn. Cider doughnuts perhaps? Pam

    1. Ah, Pam. I felt like I was right there with you. I love that you have a room where you can quiet your mind and find a bit of stillness. Your very luck students! Let’s arrange a fall visit! Can we come up and see the leaves in color? And yes, to those donuts. Also, as we just had a new and very nice inflatable mattress delivered to our house, I can offer you a bed to sleep on when you want to visit Boston.

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