Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Very big news

The big event right now is that I'm moving to a new job! The Green Shoots composting program I started last year to provide some employment for Thomas and a few other special-needs young adults has been a success, and is going to be taken over by a new program called the WAVE program, and they want me to come and work for them!

I know the teacher who has been working on getting it up and running; my project is going to be one of the worksites that will be providing some employment for autistic graduates, and I'll be working as a job coach. I'll be taking small groups of the kids ("apprentices" is how they're called) and supervising them as they do the work. Some may be able to graduate to working with minimal supervision, while others will have to have someone with them all the time.

But what's important is that they'll have something to look forward to once they graduate. Too often, they just stay at home with nothing to do. We're going to start with a small number of kids and job positions, and then more will arrive in September once they've graduated from highschool. I'm hoping we can branch out and start up another composting program at another school, or perhaps even at Algonquin College nearby. It's all very exciting and happening very quickly.

My last day driving for Direct Transportation will be Friday. The one thing that made me hesitate about giving up my driving job was that someone else would have to drive James to school, and I'm just so worried that nobody else can do it. His teacher said that they'd make it work somehow; ALL the kids in the Autism Unit have some sort of behavioural issues, and yet they all get to school, so James can too. I thought I'd better start preparing him for the change, so last week I started very tentatively:
Me: James, you're going to have a surprise.
James:  Surprise.
Me: You're going to have a new driver. Mommy is going to stay home, and you'll go to school with a new driver.
James: New driver! New driver, new bus! Goodbye, blue bus! Easter, and then new driver! Next week, and then new driver!
He's been jabbering about the new driver ever since. So much for the wrenching separation - he can't wait to see the last of me! I've had to stall him, in fact, because I gave a proper 2-weeks notice, and he couldn't understand why he couldn't have the new driver the very next day. This always happens; I'm convinced that I'm indispensible, that NOBODY else can do my job, and then I find that I'm quite easily replaced. I guess I want to be the one who does things that nobody else in the world can do. Oh well, I sure do hope he adjusts well to another driver. He's older now that when I started driving him, and not quite as volatile at 18 as he was at 14.


Blogger Timothy Fountain said...

Congratulations! Composting, are we? This gives new insight into "Sometimes Care Giving Stinks."

But seriously, all the best on your new endeavor, and for those it will serve and to your family as you navigate the changes!

9:09 pm  
Blogger Priscilla said...

Wonderful news.
I felt somewhat wrenched, this week, as my daughter started at her new position. She has to commute by train to downtown. I know she is 34 years old with no disabilities, but we mothers are really all alike. We want to hold their hands forever.
How are your aunts doing? I continue to pray for them, and for you and your children.

9:09 am  
Blogger Dr. Mabuse said...

Thanks, Tim! I'm very happy, because there's so little for autistic kids once they graduate - one guy has just been at home for 6 years. They need something useful to do, and this created something out of nothing. The parents must be very happy. Last year we got on the waiting list for state help for Thomas - 2 days of forms and interviews, and we haven't gotten so much as a phone call since. If we waited for the government to do something for us, we'd be waiting forever.

You're right, Priscilla - I worry when Emma even takes the bus downtown to shop or get her hair cut! My aunts are still plodding along. Auntie Kay finished her chemo, and now she just has to go for periodic tests and checkups. The doctors have given her about a year to a year and a half. My sister and I are busily hunting down dvds of programs they might like and old shows they remember and want to watch again. They're really enjoying Ken Burns's "The Dust Bowl" documentary.

10:14 am  
Blogger Tina said...

This is very big news indeed! Congratulations! There are so many kinds of jobs that need to be done, but that just need old-fashioned easy time frames. In a nearby town, we have an organization that builds pallets, shreds documents, removes litter, etc. It is not for everyone, but it meets real needs. Aldersgate

When I was growing up in a small town, individuals could find businesses that needed their skills and could adjust to personal nuances in the work. Good for you in helping create just such an opportunity that meshes so well with today's world! :-)

4:39 pm  

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