Blog #137~Nick’s Adult Day Program
Nick is just about a month into his new adult day program. My son just turned 22 years old and has Down syndrome and autism. The month before his 22nd birthday he was attending the program part time. Gradually we increased his days and hours during the month of January. This made for a nearly seamless transition out of school to his new location.
The one bug in the whole process has been the transportation piece. The first try was using a riding service through our county. This was a fail. There was a different driver every time, and you had to pay cash $13.50 each way. The final nail in that coffin was a driver who (as reported by Nick’s job coach), was speeding, weaving in and out of traffic and throwing his leftover lunch out the window. The next driving service we tried were caring and nice. However they were never on time and cost way much more money ($27.50 each way) Ouch! Currently, we’ve hired a lovely gal who is taking Nick in the mornings. Kelsey has been a godsend. She said that Nick is the best way to start her mornings. 🙂
For the time being, I am picking him up each afternoon. Ideally, I hope to find another driver or find someone to share carpool duties with as it really cuts into my schedule. Otherwise I’ll paint my car taxi cab yellow. 😀 Stay tuned……
Nick has adjusted well in his new program. Here are a few snapshots:
Vocational tasks….. (What, he’s not spraying anyone in the eye or drenching a flat screen tv?)
Nick relaxing in the sensory room….
In his new program, the group goes out into the community three times a week. He has already been to the Shedd Aquarium, recycling & food pantry jobs, shopping for cooking supplies and eating out at restaurants. The program also has special days with themes like Elvis Day, soul food cooking, Valentine’s Day party and monthly birthday celebrations. The staff is caring and they really love what they do. Nick has been very happy here.
Yes, there have been a few behaviors that have challenged the staff. That’s to be expected. Nick can spot fresh meat and will test you. But last week and the follow up meeting, the behaviorist felt these were manageable. It really helped that the school sent his job coach with him during the transition. Jodi, was able to help the staff understand these and guide them on how to handle Nick. So far, he has only got to the cover of a fire alarm. I had my money on him pulling one the first week. 🙂
As Nick’s mom, it warms my heart to know that his days are full, structured, meaningful and that he is happy in his new adult life. That’s what is in my noggin this week.
@Down Syndrome With A Slice Of Autism