In fact, I’ve changed my mind.
When Mary starts her training on Monday, I plan to provide her transportation. When I told one of the paralegals at my job that I would be changing my work schedule in order to get Mary to her training group on time, she said, “I thought the Kilter college taxi service had closed.”
Well, I’ve been thinking about our insistence that Mary find employment with a location on a bus route. Better for her independence, we said. But after four fruitless years of looking for work that meets that criteria, I have given up on that line of thinking. If Mary were married, wouldn’t her husband take her to work if he could drive? Don’t other people share transportation to work for members in their family? Young adult or not? Autistic or not? Our goal is for Mary to be as independent as possible. So maybe she needs our help with transportation to get to that point. So what?
The location of this work place is not too far from a bus route, if the bus stops near there. But it would take Mary at least one transfer to get there. Probably about an hour on the bus from our house. There is a transportation service in town for people with disabilities , which costs $10 per trip. When I mentioned this to Mary in the past, she said, “That would be $100 a week.” She didn’t want to consider it. When I asked again, pointing out that $100 a week is what many people pay to own and operate a car (including car payment, insurance, gas, and maintenance), she said, “They have a waiting list.” But even if she has to wait, if she were established in a job, she could find a way to afford it. Maybe Uber, the ride sharing phone application service, could get her a steady ride. Or she could move closer to the job. Maybe we could car pool with another family in the area with similar transportation needs.
Maybe in our stubborn insistence that Mary find a job on the bus line, we have not provided for her. Our intentions were good, I think. Even so, the underlying message regarding independent transportation was important.
When we went out to lunch at the Steak and Shake last spring, Mary told me that since she hadn’t had success in finding work to fit her accounting degree, she was going to try something else. In fact, she had already signed up to begin training for computer certification in order to qualify for work in a different field. She assumed that we would help her get there. And Lord willing, we will.
So, yes, The Kilter family taxi service has opened for business under a new name. But we still have the same mission: eventual independence for our kids.