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?


  1. I think you are on the same island that we are, Community Living has programs but so do some of the college's NIC has an adult special needs classroom which is fully funded (through the adult grants) some in the program have aides but I am not sure how that part is funded, I do believe the other colleges on the island offer similar programs.

  2. Thank you for your ideas I will check into the colleges. The 2 days a week support that we receive is from Community Living however they don't have the funding for more support at this time.

  3. It sounds like you guys are coming up with some really good ideas! In the states, they just started a program called Self Directed Support Services. Bethany was eligible for a certain amount of money for us to create a truly individualized activity program for her. We don't actually handle the money, but we decide what it is spent on. She now has a personal aide for 30 hours a week who helps her learn independent living skills and takes her out into the community to go shopping, to the library, gym, etc. These funds also pay for her gym membership and community classes. After 14 years with no services at all, we feel like we have reached Nirvana! Thanks for linking up at Faith, Hope, and Love! Merry Christmas!

  4. Thanks for writing about this "service hole" or whatever it should be called. You're filling it with great creativity. This isn't an area I know much about, so I have no suggestions for you. Thanks for adding this post to's Tuesday special needs link share.

  5. In Alberta we have a tendency to complain about the state of our day programs however it appears that we are in a much better situation in our province than yours. All of my adult children whom have severe disabilities have day programs to attend every day. This will be the same for my less disabled but still significantly so son who has the skills to volunteer and even with support competitive employment. They also receive AISH...assured income for severely handicapped which covers their living expenses. Shame on other provinces for not having the same.