Posted in Adult Day Programs for Special Needs, Autism, Down syndrome, Uncategorized

Blog #137~Nick’s Adult Day Program

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. 🙂

Nick in car aid

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 cleaning aid.jpg

Nick relaxing in the sensory room….

Nick sensory aid

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.

~Teresa

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Posted in Adult Day Programs for Special Needs, Autism, Down syndrome, Health Issues and Special Needs Child

Update This Week

Update This Week

Nick had a checkup this morning.  He cooperated for the most part.  Although he wasn’t too thrilled about getting the TB test.  This is in preparation for his transition to the adult day program that I have been writing about the past two weeks.  My son Nick has Down syndrome and autism and will be turning 22 very soon.  As I sat there with him, I thought back on all the times we have been to the doctor.  I am grateful that he has been in good health.  It is truly a blessing.

That’s what is in my noggin this week 🙂

~Teresa

The face of unsure expectations…..

Nick Doctor

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Posted in Adult Day Programs for Special Needs, Autism, Down syndrome, Education and Special Needs, Uncategorized

Blog #133~Transition to Adult Day Program

Blog #133~Transition to Adult Day Program

As I mentioned last week, the countdown is on to the end of school for my son.  Nick is 21 years old and has Down syndrome and autism.  In just a few weeks he will celebrate his 22nd birthday and will age out of the school system.  So what will Nick do when the little yellow bus stops coming to pick him up?  Here’s a peek into his transition to the adult day program which started last week.

Nick is attending half days twice a week.  Each morning starts in the gym.  Here are some of the activities he will be doing:

Sensory Swing…..

Nick Swing AID

Yoga time….

Nick yoga AID.jpg

Bowling….

Nick Bowling AID

Nick picked out an animal book for one of his choice activities….

Nick reading AID

Nick stole his teacher’s chair when she got up.  Looks like he’s  making himself at home.  Now all he needs is a crown. 🙂

Nick chair AID

Here’s Nick’s reaction when his job coach asked if he liked his new school.  A fist pump with a big yay! 🙂

Nick fist bump AID

Week one of the transition to the adult day program was a success. A special thank you to Jodi, his job coach for providing the pictures above!  I’m so pleased that he is happy there and the activities keep him busy, productive and most of all, happy 🙂  There are a few more wrinkles to iron out, but progress is being made for this to be a success for Nick.  That’s what is in my noggin this week.

~Teresa

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