My older daughter Marie is having difficulty achieving the next steps toward independence.
It has been difficult to find a job…her handicap is more evident than her brother’s. Her learning disabilities, while much improved, hamper her. Spelling IS important. She may not be able to spell well, but she can write a decent paragraph. Maybe dictation would work for her. She is good with numbers. Very good. She loves accounting. (Boring, utterly boring, in my opinion.)
This next week she is going to have an on-the-road driving test to see if she is capable of learning to drive. We received her in-house evaluation and she still has some of the deficits that resulted in the prohibition of driving lessons three years ago. But those deficits have improved enough that she is going to be allowed to take the road test.
Her brother has moved 70 miles away for his new job. She said she would like to hunt for accounting work in his city because the busing system is so much better and there are more openings in her field. However, she needs to find out if she can take driving lessons. If she passes, she will need to stay home to be instructed in driving. If she fails, she can look for work in her brother’s city right away.
Inability to drive is a barrier to employment in America, where the cities are far apart and public transportation is inadequate except in the biggest cities. In our city, she makes the decision about whether to apply for work or send a resume based on whether the location is on the bus line. Many positions are in the suburbs where there is no bus service.
She has developed many skills in her quest for independence. She can cook, do laundry, clean, and hunt for work. She can ride the bus independently and she enjoys walking downtown and taking herself out to lunch or meeting me for lunch.
She needs a miracle. Waiting for the next step is difficult. It seems an insurmountable barrier, a wall to climb over. However, she has surprised us before and probably will again.
I am praying that she will be a blessing to those who hire her and that they will be glad that they hired her.
Life and Ink said:
My son Ted does not drive as well, so I know the barriers of which you speak. I wish Marie well, for I know too, when child is well, so is mom! 🙂
Ann Kilter said:
Thank you. Driving is a big step. And it is just one of the many “milestones” that our kids achieve later than other kids. The funny thing is, the one who doesn’t need special training in driving is the one I am having to push to learn to drive.
the jay train said:
Hi There. I’m new here but I’ve read thru quite a few of your posts. As a mom, it must be hard to have your son be so far away and on his own but it’s wonderful that he can do it. I wish your daughter well in finding a job and getting her license.
Ann Kilter said:
Thank you. It is hard to have him far away, but at least it is only an hour and a half drive. I think if pushes him toward independence faster than if he were in an apartment nearby. He has car trouble this week, and we can’t rescue him immediately. He has to figure it out. And if the car doesn’t start, he needs to be ready and willing to ride the bus. There is a bus that stops right in his apartment complex and goes directly to his job, no transfers needed.
Margaret Jean said:
Hi, Ann. Thanks for liking my blog although it is a different take on the same subject.
I agree: lack of a license can be a barrier to employment. Planning job inquiries around transit isn’t necessarily a bad thing, though. Kudos to those who can manage life without a car.Also, the daughter who likes accounting might consider going for it, if she hasn’t already.. Accountants/bookkeepers can work from home, or have an office of their own once they establish themselves. So I think this type of work really suits people in the Autism syndrome. .
Ann Kilter said:
She ended up not being able to get her license, so she is dependent on public transportation or us. But with the help of Goodwill, she now has a 8-hour a week job at Habitat for Humanity, and a 6-hour a week job at a homeless shelter, both doing accounting work.
Her hope is to get a full-time job and be able to move out and get her own apartment. She would like some privacy at some point, she says. Also, her brother moving out has been a revelation to her. These part-time jobs are very valuable experience.