From fear to excitement for her son’s future…

April 3, 2021

Allison used to believe that Cameron’s adult life would be spent in segregated settings, and at some point, he would live in a group home. NOT ANY MORE! Cameron is building a support circle full of people who care, he’s working on getting a paid job, and his life skills are growing exponentially! Allison has gone from sadness and fear of what’s going to happen for Cameron to waking up excited to support Cameron to live his Awesome ‘Ordinary’ Life. Cameron feels this is a life his birth mom will be proud to see him live.
This is what it looks like when you believe your loved one can live more independently and take small steps forward…

Leave a comment below. Write a short comment to share what connected with you from Allison & Cameron’s story!

  • I loved this interview. Allison and Cameron are really in sync as a team. Allison’s advice to not be afraid to take risks resonated immediately. Cameron has such presence. I was really inspired by all that they have accomplished and embarking on putting the support circle piece in place. Cameron has become so much more independent and present in his community. Allison’s enthuiasm is pretty infectious and I felt a lot of hope and enthusiasm as well as admiration by the end of the interview.

  • I definitely connect with the new Allison and her enthusiasm for Cameron’s future. I also couldn’t help but noticing that she was quick to step in when questions were directed to Cameron. I think I have a tendency to do that with my son Morgan who is nearly 28 years old and has Down syndrome.
    To put things in perspective, my husband and I are both School therapists. I retired this year after 35 years of school service and Steve is on his 28th year of service. He graduated from OT school right after Morgan was born, and began working in schools the following year, after having gained a couple years of volunteer experience while he was in OT School.
    My personal testimony I, being the 11th of 13 children, had no interest in having children of my own. I went into OT school to work in geriatrics and help elderly folks to be able to live more independently, influenced by my own grandmother being institutionalized at age 97 after having a stroke. She was staunchly independent and could have regained that Independence if people would have believed in her.
    As life would have it, and as I have come to realize God’s Destiny for my life, the only immediate job in town was with the schools in 1987. I intended to do a short stint until I found the real job that I wanted. Long story short I fell in love with the teachers who are so dedicated and with the children who are little Heroes. It didn’t surprise me then after Steve and I married, that God would bless us with our own special child.
    Pardon me for all this, but I am not a woman of few words and am a staunch advocate for the differently-abled.
    Morgan proved to be very clever early on, using his sign language to construct sentences when he was only about 18 months old. I should mention that God’s fingerprints are all over this young man as he has always had excellent services available to him at just the right time. By the time he was eight he was speaking in short sentences and made it clear that he did not intend to live with us when he grew up. I was not afraid to put him out there. Camping at special needs camps since he was 5 years old, joining 4-H and equestrian activities with his older sister, becoming a Special Olympics Global Messenger and doing public speaking, and participating in church and celebrate recovery activities with me. He is an experienced and capable young man
    That being said, he developed a lot of anxiety around age 18. I attribute that to hormones and his growing dissatisfaction with his own limitations. He had a typical girlfriend until middle school and she left him behind for another guy. He was crushed. Ever since then he has wanted to marry and have a family with a typical girl.
    He got a standard high school diploma by going to a McKay Scholarship School that worked with him and made allowances. He wanted to go to college like his sister, but was unable to independently complete the introductory course about studying in college. He became angry when I would not help him pass.
    He was doing his Advocate thing for Special Olympics at age 13, selling torches at our local Publix. He ended up getting a job, having to wait until he turned 14 but then working there until he was 21. He has gone back to Publix since then by invitation, but quit because he thinks it’s below him. He became proficient in using the local bus system for transportation , but has not been able to use it because of violations in the homes where he’s lived. He can’t ever seem to gain their confidence to travel independently without getting himself in trouble.
    He got himself in trouble working for a hospital. Once he gained independence in the custodial service, he often got distracted watching TVs in the rooms, following the pretty nurses and asking for their phone numbers and spending too much of his paycheck in the gift shop. They were kind and allowing him to resign rather than be fired.
    At home, he became belligerent and unmanageable until my husband finally conceded to allow him to move into a group home. Since June of 2018, he has lived at four different group homes, always receiving a 30 day notice for violating House Rules.
    He has had counseling to help him adjust his attitude with little success. His newest home has had the best success in helping him eradicate his habit of picking at his face and the owner flat out told him that she was not going to kick him out. She is determined to figure out what it takes to help him follow the rules and become independent. I’m hopeful.
    Morgan refused to sign custody papers with my husband’s name on them, and so I have not pursued custody. I’m interested in the new level of supportive advocacy.
    I helped him join our local Family Care Council, but he won’t participate unless I go and stay with him and then he looks to me for support when they ask him a question. I got him enrolled in a local Down syndrome virtual friendship group, but he fails to sign on for the weekly meetings.
    It seems to be more of a failure to launch rather than an inability to Launch. I am rather saddened by his sense of entitlement.
    At this point, I am willing to try anything that might help him get his feet on the ground.

  • Congratulations Cameron and Allison! You are an inspiration to continue one step at a time towards an Awesome Ordinary Life.

  • Great video! Allison come across as very engaged, bubbly, and excited! This is very uplifting!! Opens my eyes up to all the possibilities.

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