A Future with Developmental Disabilities – Matthew

March 2, 2010

In a previous post I said that I would be talking to other families about their visions of the future for their child with developmental disabilities. I spoke with Matthew’s Mom recently about the future of her thirty-five year old son.

On a scale from one to ten, with ten being total care and one being “I’m OK Mom, I can take care of myself.”, what is the level of care that Matthew will need? Matthew would be a five.

Do you have a plan in place for Matthew when you are no longer able to provide care for him? “No”

What are your primary concerns for Matthew’s future? Matthew’s Mom wants him to be with people who care about him. She feels that as long as that is in place everything else he needs will follow. “I want someone to love him.”

Where would you like Matthew to live when he can no longer live with you? Matthew’s Mom thinks that a supervised apartment with good agency oversight would work for Matthew. She would like the apartment to be in a town, not out in the country, so that he could get around to things.

Is there someone to oversee Matthew’s care when you no longer can? Matthew has two brothers who know him well and can help in overseeing his care.

Do you have an idea when you or Matthew will be ready or need for him to live on his own? Matthew’s Mom says that he was ready about five years ago. She wants to be able to watch over him as he begins a more independent life in order to make sure that all of his needs are going to be met. She also feels it would be better for him because, “The longer he’s with us (at home) the less he thinks he will live anywhere else.”

What is your best hope for Matthew’s future? Matthew’s Mom feels that Matthew would do best in that well supervised apartment with one roommate and the love and support of his brothers.

Matthew’s Mom and I discussed the role of the provider in the future of our children. We may be comfortable and pleased with the performance and commitment of the provider agency overseeing our child’s care but that can all change if the management or administration of the provider changes. That type of change can have a significant impact on the future and well-being of our children and we may not be there to address any issues that may arise.

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