Last night, I received a phone call from a mom of a 18 year old daughter who has FAS. Her daughter has been in a crisis home for 9 months waiting for a group home spot to open up. This mom received a phone call last night that her daughter was found with a young man, both of them with all their clothes off, having sex. Her daughter has an IQ of 56. She is devastated. The young man is a client also. Her daughter was being brought to the hospital for tests and stuff like that. This mom was on her way to a program with one of her younger children so she did not go. The staff's response were not all that concerned about the situation, the daughter is after all, an adult.
This is such a hard situation, and one I easily know we could be facing in the future. Even knowing that things like this are more than likely in our future, does not mean that each bump in the road does not break your heart. As I said yesterday, we have known for years that Akila probably will not be able to always live in our home. We know that we are at the point now where she needs an outside placement. Doesn't mean it doesn't hurt. Big. Time.
But it does help to be prepared. If we hadn't prepared ourselves for this, we would not only be dealing with pain, but shock and surprise as well- which only makes the pain more deep and painful. I have always said that I would rather be wrong on the things I know might happen in our future, than be taken by surprise and knocked off of my rocker when my head is turned. If I hadn't known this was in our future, I wouldn't have applied for MA and DD case management, and would have very few options for help now.
Often, when you work with a therapist or counselor, they put together a crisis plan. You are "preparing for disaster". This usually consists of how to keep family members safe when a rage occurs. Another aspect of disaster preparedness, is setting up the support system that you need to be as successful as possible with your child (all your children). For us, this included applying for MA through TEFRA, applying to the county for DD (Developmentally Disabled) Case Management, doing the counseling, the OT, the respite, etc. Many of us never went into parenting thinking these would be things we would be preparing for, or services that we would use. But they are vital to the success and safety of our children.
I thank the Lord for helping to open our eyes over the past several years so we are prepared for as much as possible. Many people prepare for disasters, but never need to put their plans into effect. Well, as I said, that would be awesome! But be prepared. I am by no mean saying that the mom who called me yesterday was not prepared. I think in many ways she was. Today, my heart is breaking for her and her daughter.