Earlier this month I attended the second weekend of a 5 month series on transition your child with special needs into adult hood. I have really enjoyed these conferences as they are a wealth of information, great networking for parents and youth. Your head is swimming with information by the time you leave that it actually takes a while to process and let it all sink in.
One of the topics was about SSI. We learned that there were two different types which most of us already knew. In Wisconsin here children with special needs can go to school until the age of 21. I found out if your already receiving SSI you will continue to receive until 21. Of course there is a transition to adult and there is talk about guardian ship. We learned a little bit about that. I am not sure what my sons future holds with that. I don’t want to spend so much time thinking about it until I have to.
They also talked about ADRC which is Aging Disability Resource Center. I think is what it means. They are a huge help to people with disability and even those who are adults. There are so many things they can help with that it really does blow my mind. One of the nice things is that they can help transition the SSI, and they can help people to apply for it. They can find programs for these adults to be in. The list goes on. I don’t know if every state has something like this or if we are just very lucky here in Wisconsin.
We had a session where a lady came in and talked about the birds and the bees. We already had that talk prior to her coming. She talked about what the word NO means and how you should be respectful in your space and ask if its ok to give a hug…For the parents she talked about well abuse…it’s not something I really want to think about but it does happen. I was shocked to know how much of it happens to disabled people. It brought up the whole bullying thing for me and I was able to talk to them after. It was an awesome resource for us as my son will possibly see a youth counselor thanks to this program. They sent the kids home with a book about boys and puberty, girls and puberty, and dating. I haven’t really looked through the books but my son was like ummm I don’t need to know this. I think he was embarrassed.
The kids of course got to enjoy each others company in the water park after the conference was over both days. My son made some new connections and have been talking to some of the other youth since we have left. I am so happy to see him develop some of these connections. I hope they last a long time. The parents are so wonderful and supportive. We finally just compiled a list of contact info. So we can all stay in contact.
The next session isn’t until January. If you are in the state of Wisconsin and your child is in a transitioning age. I seriously highly recommend this conference. It is paid by the school districts. Well worth the time you spend going. You walk away with so much information and friendships.
In the near future I will be showing the grade level my son is at and what kind of transitioning things we are focusing on. In fact I will share it for the high school. This wonderful resource came from ADRC. It slows me down a little bit and stops me from feeling overwhelmed. So I plan on sharing and I plan to lay out my plan for the next four years. Granted I probably will change and adjust things. That’s ok.
Another thing I want to work on is a picture board of what my sons sees his future as. What does he want to accomplish, what does he want to have, etc…. I think this would give him a good visual of things to work towards. I think it will be fun and it will be something we can look back and on as well.
Stay tuned as I will posting as I figure out the resources and how to apply them.