Mae’s Story

Mae Rosen-9

Mae with her father and sister, Lena, who is also living with autism.

Through all these trials and tribulations, we are raising two girls who continue to be loving, kind, caring, and all around wonderful people who would befriend every person they meet, and certainly talk to anyone and everyone without discrimination or discernment. Their challenges are not due to anything they have done wrong or chosen to have…it’s all just an unforeseeable and unfortunate genetic abnormality. They rarely complain about the limitations they recognize in themselves and move through life with a sort of stumbling grace I envy. I am their father and I love them and hope we as parents can put things in place to assure reasonably full and meaningful lives for them.

– Bob (father to Mae and Lena)

To view Mae’s full story visit http://www.realstoriesrealpeople.org/mae/

Advertisements

Mae’s Job Training at Agnes Scott

Mae at AS

Mae works in the cafeteria at Agnes Scott College once a week through a job training program at her high school. Over 80% of adults with intellectual disabilities are not employed. Approximately 63% of people with disabilities who are unemployed want to work. The majority of special education students who age out of high school could be successful at working paid jobs in the community but supported employment is needed to ensure their success. Earning an income would steer these individuals away from a life of dependence and poverty. For every dollar invested in supported employment there is a return of $1.61.

Once Mae ages out of high school in November our focus will be on job training. Mae is very capable of working but she will need perhaps a year of social skills, community navigation and job training before she would be ready to be placed, then who knows how many months of job coaching? However, at some point I believe she will make a good employee and by working, she will begin to return Georgia’s investment in her. She has participated in a number of internship positions through her high school program and the common denominator is that she is a pleasure to work with so I am hopeful she will be able to find a position suitable for her, with time and help.

Bob (Mae’s father)

Funding Update

Barometer marked to 5000 Flattened

Nolan

 

I have raised $3000.00 thus far as a result of the generosity of family and friends. Although I started with the lofty goal of raising $8000.00, I have been able to find a publishing company that can produce a beautiful publication for much less than I had originally anticipated. As a result, I have decreased the amount needed to complete the first stage of this project. I am hoping to raise an additional $1,300-$2000 so I can print 2000-3000 copies of the publication. The publication will be distributed to the public and Georgia legislators for free. Please consider making a tax deductible donation to this project. If you are unable to make a donation at this time please forward the link to my website or blog to those you know who may be interested in this cause.

There are many supports available in our community that enhance the quality of life for individuals living with developmental disabilities. Unfortunately, supports are costly and many families have limited budgets. With state and federal funding, persons with developmental disabilities can access a variety of services. The photo above features a four-year-old boy receiving therapeutic equine riding lessons at Stride Ahead (http://www.strideahead.org/StrideAhead/Mane_Page.html). Pam Smith, the head instructor is featured on the right. Therapeutic riding  at Stride Ahead provides individuals with a program that will “develop and strengthen muscle tone, core strength, coordination, and flexibility, as well as developing mental and emotional life skills such as focus, leadership, social skills, confidence, cooperation, and friendship.”

To make a tax deductible contribution to Real Stories, Real People visit the website at:

http://www.realstoriesrealpeople.org/donate/

A Father’s Perspective

Bob

When you have a child or children with life-long disabilities, it changes the nature and indeed, the definition of child rearing in a profound and lasting way. Raising children becomes a decades long process, with tangible concerns moving well beyond the parent’s actual lifetime. Friendships are impacted. In the end, we navigate the path much more alone than do parents of typical children.

Bob (Mae’s dad)

Bob’s daughter Mae was featured in blog posts on July 19 and August 1, 2015 at https://realstoriesrealpeoplega.wordpress.com

 

 

Interview with Mae

Mae in red chair

Interview with Mae

Beate: Mae, would you please introduce yourself?

Mae: I’m Mae and I love to swim, go to movies, exercise and get massages. I am a kind person and I am very nice to be around.

B: Mae, can you talk about your disability and how it affects your life?

M: I have schizophrenia and autism.The medication (for schizophrenia) makes me hungry but I like to eat healthy. We all have things we need to work on but sometimes I forget about things and people have to tell me what to do instead of me taking the initiative.

B: You will be aging out of high school in November. Are you excited or nervous and what do you hope to be doing?

M: Probably get a job walking or training dogs or working with flowers. I’m excited to be going to job training.

B: Why is it important to you to get a job?

M: Because then if I can buy stuff I’ll be all set. I can buy my own furniture and food. If I can get money I’ll be prepared for the real life

B: When you are ready to move out of your Dad’s home what are your plans?

M: I want to live in a beautiful home with friends and have my own bedroom.

B: Do you think that you will need some support to live on your own?

M: I wil probably need support with hygiene like reminders to brush my teeth and hair and get showered. I know how to cook spaghetti and eggs.

B: Do you have a message that you would like to share with others?

M: That I hope to have a good life.

A Mother’s Thoughts About Transition

Mae at Graduation

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)

Rickey’s Story

Rickey-1

Rickey works part-time at Golden Corral. Although he is a hardworking and dedicated employee, he is at risk of loosing his job because he cannot consistently get to work. His family does not own a car and there is no public transportation in his community.  Rickey’s story embodies the difficulties families face when they are living with economic challenges in addition to caring for a member with a developmental disability.

To view the full story visit  http://www.realstoriesrealpeople.org/rickey/