Monday, 21 December 2015

Santa's reindeer came to visit!

The other day I wrote about the crafts and sales my son has been doing.  Yesterday he decided to set up a table at the end of our driveway with the hopes of selling his creations.  Business started out very slow, so his brother came up with a couple ideas for attracting customers - 1st dress in a Santa suit and 2nd wave and sing to attract attention.  These ideas did attract a bit of attention but not as much as when a neighbourhood elk arrived to check out the crafts and nibble at the center pieces.

The pictures taken have produced even more attention.  The pictures are going viral, our son had an interview with a radio station, a television news station booked an interview and 2 newspapers have asked to use the pictures.  Our son has been so excited by all the media attention and everyone that knows him have been saying its a good thing there were pictures and witnesses or this would sound like another one of his creative tales.

Saturday, 19 December 2015

Scarce programing for special needs leads to creative thinking!

For most having a child become an adult is an exciting time with the young adult venturing out into the world and thoughts of an empty nest for the parents.  When your child has special needs this can be a very challenging time, now what are they going to do?  We now have 3 in this category and it's difficult, the schools, clubs and activities they once attended no longer welcome them as a participant now that they are an "adult".  They don't have the prerequisites required for college, university or a job.  Their peers are venturing out, starting their adult life while they are at home wondering what has happened.  With the current state of funding being cut and not enough resources to go around we have needed to be creative and combine options to help fulfill our children's days and our requirements.  We have a rule in our family that you are up by 7:30am during the week and doing something productive that does not include video games, television or naps.

For 2 of our adults we were able to take advantage of the extremely well hidden information in the provicinal education program policy. (I really recommend reading the policies of any program your children are in and make sure you know your rights and options)

 To be eligible, Adult non-graduate students with special needs must be working towards goals set out in their Individual Education Plan (IEP) and:
  • have been reported on the Form 1701 in the prior school year (i.e. they are continuing their K-12 education program uninterrupted from when they were still school age), and;
  • be continuing their program at the same school (i.e. they are continuing their K-12 education program uninterrupted at the same school leading towards a B.C. Certificate of Graduation, the B.C. Adult Graduation Diploma or the School Completion Certificate Program from when they were still school age).

The public schools around here usually fight this policy but being a homeschool family this enables them to continue having a funded education support person (at home), therapies and programs.  The policy doesn't state a time limit and we are currently on year 2 with one adult and hope to continue as adult special needs funding is scarce for other programs.  In addition to school funding we were able to secure a position for one adult in a day program twice a week, another adult was able to gain funding for a support person for 12 hours per week and the third adult we are still working towards funded support.

We have decided to mix up their learning this year to reflect their desire to earn and income and continue learning the K-12 education.  With their support workers/education assistants we are working on income generating projects, for the last month part of the day includes craft making and attending various craft fairs.  With the help of Pinterest I have been able to come up with crafts that don't take a huge amount of skill or expense that have become profitable.  With the speed that our adults work and their limited abilities they will not be able to earn an imcome sufficient to live on however they are able to earn spending money and have a huge sense of accomplishment.  The adults are making projects, working out costs to produce items, figuring out mark up and determining a sale price.  They are also working on their social and sales skills while at various craft fairs/markets and also handling money and making change.  Bread making is another venture we are trying with the hope of selling to friends and family and in the spring we hope to add a gardening unit.

Do you have any business or employment ideas for the unskilled and in need of one on one support individuals?  What are your adult children doing during the day?