What are the options for your loved one?

September 11, 2021

I recently received an email from a parent that asked the question: “What are the options for my loved one?”

I get it. The options for your loved one with a disability can feel so limited because you’re only ever presented with the disability or “special” option… the “special” classroom …the day program …or the group home. These options are all limited and segregated.

Well, the good news is that there is better, and there are many, many, many more options for your loved one!

Click the video below to learn more.

Leave me a comment below! What did you find helpful in this video?

  • My issue at this point in time, is my granddaughter is just 11. I am 69 and raising her, along with my husband. She is working on toilet training now but is pretty much non verbal. She has the mental capacity of about a 2 yr old. I KNOW I need to plan for her future. I’m just not really sure WHERE she will be best suited. I honestly don’t think she will be able to live on her own or care for herself without a LOT of support. Is it too soon for me to start looking into what kind of “group homes” there are for her that will meet her needs? I just don’t see her walking down the “ordinary path”, but she is only 11 and who knows wher she will be at in 10 years. I just don’t want to wait until it’s too late for me to make that decision.

  • We have always followed the Special Needs path because it was the one that we thought we needed to be on and because we were bogged down with surviving and coping. From the very first conversation at diagnosis we were advised to go out and seek services. There wasn’t much support from the extended family which is really small to begin with so we went along. Now we are trying really hard to get off that path and onto the path that leads to an awesome ordinary life. It is very affirming to hear your experiences on this path and it is helping us to see and believe in a different way forward.

  • Hi Eric, thanks for ponting out the two paths. My daughter was in the first path of course, like many others when she gratuated from high school. Took a few days at the day program but gradually was bored. We had used the SSAH to find her many volunteering positions to see what she liked before she graduated. So she chose the alternative – looking for employment and volunteering and planning her own day. We ended up starting a not for profit business from her volunteering for a small business locally that she loved and now has some local work hours. She lives on her own in a condo unit. During Covid it was difficult but she had made relationships with many others in the condo and a person that checked up on her. She is now part of the garden committee who waters the small herb and flower garden at the building. She hosts an annual bbq-patio party (pot luck) and many new residents get to know each other. She has some support and has had facilitators on and off to help and of course the parents! She did invite her own buddies as well for watching the games sometimes but she has the power to decide. We parents always try and do things FOR our adults. We find that at our age – almost 70! we should have learned and trained to let go years ago. Passport fund has helped a lot and I know it is not enough for many to do what they want. But involving a good independent facilitator is the best help for community relationship building and having a functioning network of support for our adults is amazing. However, the gray area is sustainabality of the good life when we are gone. This is something that needs work!

  • Hi Eric…it was amazing how you touched on many aspects in my life with my son Aaron who has Aspergers..OCD…ADHD…and anxiety….major social anxiety…he is 22 and lives with me …we have talked about a group house which would teach him many life skills…but its not for him….anyway I could go on and on…but it would be a very very long comment…I look forward to seeing more of your videos…take care…Diana

    • A group home is great if you want to live in a miniature version of North Korea where practically every aspect of your life is chosen for you by the caregiver, where there’s a kiloton of house rules and where you and your housemates are segregated from the rest of the neighborhood. However, if you want freedom and integration, you’re best avoiding the group home model like the plague if you can.

  • I liked that you talked briefly about the negatives about the current society programs. I would love more information about the negative effects of segregation.

  • Our daughter, Rebecca is 39 and is living an amazing life in community. She went to ordinary nursery schools and regular classrooms in regular schools throughout her school years. People who don’t know her, can’t imagine that this is possible because she has so many needs. She has volunteered in a number of places like the ROM, also in our local library, and doing dancing gigs in the community with her dancing friends who partner her. To learn more about her life you can go to her website www. rebeccabeayni.com. Two films have been created about her life. The first one is called “Revel in the Light” and the second one is “Dance in the Shadow” You can see them on her website and on the Partners for Planning website. Rebecca’s goal is to create a more loving, compassionate, world for everyone. We are ALL ONE in the spirit of ubuntu.

  • Loved the video. We have been trying to do the” normal “ path for our daughter. We purchased a home in Morton Illinois and had hopes of roommates and a supportive roommate. It’s hard to get other people on board with the idea. Needless to say she lives pretty much alone with supportive help during the day. Our state seems a bit behind in these ideas. Recently I found something online but they are only in Minnesota. It’s called RUMI. They find supportive roommates for disabled people. Great idea, we just live in the wrong state. There’s also so many other options like apartment living with support that only takes about 1/3 of their income. It gives freedom for them to do their own thing instead of group home settings that send them to workshops.
    I like how you think. I wish others would be more open.

  • Loved this video! Our wish as parents is that we want our loved one to be regular contributing members of the Community yet we have always placed them in separate silos or on a separate path because that’s where society has told us or has advised us

    My son was an incredible artist so I put him in a program that only accepted persons with a disability
    He was very uncomfortable there
    He does not like being identified as a person with a disability
    I asked myself “why didn’t I consider registering him in just a “regular” adult Art class? (That was my wake up call) … because all of his life he has only been on the “Special Needs path” and up until then it was the only path I thought we had

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