K will be 18 next month. It is almost impossible to comprehend, as it has been like raising a very large child for so long! So many things are going to change!
First of all, all our current funding for him stops. Right now we receive money for respite care and a grant for diapers. We used to receive the Child Disability Credit but that was stopped a few years ago because we make $5000 more than their cut off amount. Now he becomes eligible for the Ontario Disability Support Program. This is a funding program for people with disabilities to pay for their living expenses like rent and food. It is a very long registration process so I don’t expect to have the funding started for awhile.
He also becomes eligible for permanent care. The problem with that is the waiting list. Because our lovely government is so pro-inclusion they have closed so many facilities for those with severe disabilities or those that need 24/7 care, like K. In most cases that is a wonderful thing! It helps people with certain disabilities to live independently or in a group home setting.
But for adults like K there are really only two choices. To live with parents or to go to a long term facility. Sadly this means we have to wait for someone to move or pass away before there is a spot. Even though K is on a crisis list it doesn’t mean he gets the very first spot available. There are other people on crisis and we need a place that meets his needs. That could take years.
I wish I could be like other parents and watch their 18 year old go to college, buy a car, get a girlfriend. I did it with S, who is now 19. I will do it with B when he turns 18. I won’t have that with K. He is still in school full time until he is 21 but after that I have no idea what will happen. There are still so many uncertainties with K’s future but I always try to remember what I tell so many other parents; you never know what the future holds.