On Tuesday, I started a series on how our journey to advocate for my spouse's developmentally disabled brother in law started. As I blogged about, my father in law died suddenly, one Christmas night in the 1990's.
After the viewings, and the funeral, the paperwork started.
"B"(as I call my brother in law in this blog)
helped my mother in law and me make the phone calls to various agencies, to my father in law's former
employer (he had just retired), to Social Security, and
to the ARC
chapter who ran the sheltered workshop where "B" worked.
The ARC, in the "old days" had another name (so unacceptable today): "The Association of Retarded Children". Yes, things were so different back when "B" was born, in the 1950's. Or, even, in the 1990's when our advocacy journey began.
"B"'s association with ARC dates, I believe, from his late teens. A long, long time.
the calls. I made a lot of them, but if we needed a statistic (such as the date
he retired, the
date he turned 65, and so forth) "B" was right there with the
That is one of his talents. Not all people with autism
have that kind of talent, but "B" does. He can, for example, remember
the weather (a special interest of his) for almost every day of his
conscious life. He also has an internal calendar with dates of almost
everything that has ever happened to him.
that I blogged, back in June, about "B" insisting that the family cat
was responsible for his father's death. In talking to the ARC, I asked
if there was any kind of help they could
provide in helping "B" adjust to the death of his father. (Incidentally,
in case you are wondering - yes, people with autism do process death
differently than many people without autism. Perhaps this should be the
subject of a future post.)
The answer to whether the
ARC could provide help was "No." The reason why shocked me-it was so
unexpected. And it started us on our journey of advocacy, which came to
a milestone earlier this month, as my spouse was granted
guardianship of "B".
So long ago, my father in law had insisted, every time we asked about "B"'s future, that "everything was taken care of".
turned out that nothing was taken care of. There was one important detail he had neglected t take care of. And that was why "B"
couldn't get this, or any other service besides a sheltered workshop,
"To be continued". (Yes-there will be a third post.)
My readers, thank you for coming to my blog! For now, I may have to cut back my blogging for August and September I still plan to blog daily, but posts may be reruns, or photo posts.
I still will have good content for you, but a family situation is taking a lot of my mental energy right now. I hope you will understand.
And know that I appreciate you, my readers, every one. Thank you for reading my story - and thank you for your comments.
See you in August!