As you know I have a real heart for our older teens and young adults. Especially in the light that us parents are not getting any younger! We have to, no matter how painful the thought is, start to consider the new home life community that our children will eventually enter.
As Donna and I do the research, there appears to be an abundance of homes being set up for our high functioning young adults. You know, these guys and gals can cook a few meals on their own, do their laundry, and have jobs. They certainly can go off on their own down the street and pick up some Taco Bell, hang with friends and come back.
But what we see is a real need for a Home Life Community that provides more inclusive care that includes monitoring medications, special diets, special supplements, and since our children are life-long learners, education and programs that enrich their living experience and just plain fun.
Our son Joshua fits in this category. Many of the children in my clinic, as well as across the nation also fit in this category. Sadly, the damage done to the brain during early development was so extensive that coming back to lead a “regular” life is just not an option. So, reality sinks in. These young adults are full of life, joyful, and easy to be with. Oh sure, there are still some issues, such as obsessions, anxiety, stimming, but otherwise, they are ready for each and every day.
What we envision for Second Home are several small houses on acreage! Each home has 2 wings, 4 complete en suite rooms on each wing with a central gathering area and kitchen. Staff will monitor each home 24 hours a day, be responsible for that homes medications and possibly meals that have already been worked out.
Outside the home there will be facilities for instruction, crafts, dances (as you know, my son Joshua LOVES to dance, so this is must!), swimming pool, gardens. Lots of avenues to get plugged in. As Donna put it, more like summer camp! Well why not?
I know, the 800lb gorilla, who is going to pay for this? Wealthy families are always “welcome!” But in reality, we have to look at some fabulous alternatives, with details to follow.
We would love your input as well. You know your kids best. What would you like to see incorporated in this master plan that ensures your adult son or daughter will actually thrive as they grow? Let me know.