Friday, March 27, 2009

Advocacy anyone? Everyone?

"Advocacy: The act of pleading or arguing in favor of something, such as a cause, idea, or policy; active support."

Everyone is an advocate for something, right? Either you are your own advocate or you advocate on behalf of someone else. You want your child to sit out of gym when they are nursing a sprained wrist, you want your boss to let you work through lunch so that you can leave work early, you ask that your employee be given a chance at a new position, you want your grocery store to start carrying organic Cheetohs.

Being an advocate comes with the role of being a human being with needs. When one is a parent, we advocate for our children in one way or another --- and some need it more than others.

Right now i'm in the middle of advocating for my oldest daughter, Ada. She is 23 years old and ready for a change. She's always lived at home but I knew that someday she would want to move out or we would realize that it would be better for her to live some where else.

We found a somewhere else: it was dangled before us like a dazzling, beautiful carrot. Then, just as quickly it was snatched away.

Ada has autism and depression (possibly bi-polar disorder; I'm not completely sold on that diagnosis anymore). She is incredibly sweet, gentle and fun (except for when she's not) and can be quite close- minded (!) about trying new things.

We broached the subject of a Group Home for Ada with her case manager and were told of one with an opening. We visited the home, loved it, loved the staff and were told how much they would love to have Ada join them. But, er, no: "sorry we shouldn't have told you about this".

According to the powers that be, we should never have been considered for this placement because Ada isn't 'medically fragile'. Have they given me a satisfactory definition of this yet? No, they haven't.

Mind you, I'm not ready to go to the mattresses for this yet, but i am in the process of getting to the bottom of it. I've had one very long conversation with a mental health supervisor and two lesser conversations with Ada's case manager. They say it's not off the table yet.

It's a learning process and I know that something good will come out of this experience; perhaps that that truly isn't the right place for my daughter. But, if it is, I'm going to do whatever it takes to get her there. Ada does not keep windows of opportunity open for very long.

For now, we're enjoying her good mood and happy temperament and hope that it lasts long enough to find the right fit for her. In the meantime, the advocacy continues and if we can get Organic Velveeta why not a great place for my adult daughter to live?


1 comment:

My name is Sarah said...

Ugh. I can imagine how frustrating this is.


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