Mae is 21, and has an amazing support group consisting of me, her dad and his new wife, a younger sister who is also disabled, a few friends, family members and teachers. Mae participated in the graduation ceremonies at Decatur High in May of 2015. When she turns 22 on November 14, she will age out of the public school system. Mae lives with her dad; Mae’s sister lives with me. Mae’s dad and I know how much support and care it takes for both our daughters to get up in the morning, shower, get dressed, eat and get to school. We realize that when the girls age out of high school, we will need to work harder to coordinate job training or continuing education. We must also work to secure a place for them to live which is connected to community, transportation and jobs. In order to ensure a smooth transition for Mae, she will need support in the form of paid counselors, job trainers, exercise mentors, housing and personal care coaches and social skills teachers. Mae does not have a Medicaid waiver to pay for these supports and she has been on the short-term waiting list for six years. The task of coordinating support for Mae will ultimately fall to us, her parents. However, we work at paid jobs and are taking care of our own aging parents while getting older ourselves. I am not giving up hope that Mae will be able to live a good life, but I am concerned whether we will have the stamina and financial resources to make it happen.
Terri (Mae’s Mother)