I’ve been talking to Aidan about one day when he may possibly live away from me. A far-far-away day! First he said,”Live with Dad”. Then I said, no you probably wouldn’t live with him either. Then he said, “Live with Mr. Johnny”. “I said noooo you need to think about AIDAN’S house!”. His eyes got really huge, I could see the wheels spinning, then he started giggling. (Probably got giddy at that thought of being free from me.)
Asked him what color house he wanted, he said “Black house.” Asked the furniture, and apparently he’s just fine with a table and a couch. He wants absolutely no cats or dogs but he said (on his own): “Pet mouse!”. So now I’m totally glad I won’t live in his house because I can NOT handle that.
Anyway, as part of planning and getting options, I called the state of Texas (Department of Aging and Disability Services) yesterday to see if there was a possibility for Aidan to be there in the future if a) my ex and I both weren’t living and b) the life plan we draw up for him includes him going back to there as an adult (possibly with a conservator in my family). My ex-husband and I still own a house in Austin (why, I don’t know) so I was thinking maybe that could be a possibility for Aidan to be near family?
Specifically I wanted to know where he’d be on the Texas Medicaid waiver list since (depending on his work abilities), he’d likely only receive social security disability benefits. They basically said that if that happened, he would be at the bottom of their “list” and would wait another 10 years or so before receiving any assistance. I almost laughed in their face.
You see, we spent NINE years on the damn list before we left for California, where he was eligible for services as soon as he was a resident (because California rocks in that way). I mean. we are already working on voc ed goals but in the event of the worst (the way I think because of my advocacy training, sadly), what would he DO all day for a decade as an adult without an attendant, training, community assistance, school services? And with no daily caregiver? Oh, that’s right. Be in poverty and on welfare like most people with disabilities, or be institutionalized to receive necessary services. Or get arrested for an odd or disability-related behavior. Because they have no place in the community, right?
Now, I am a Texan (Tejana, actually) through and through–one of my grandmothers almost slapped me when I was little for asking when we “crossed over from Mexico”, because our family was there “before it was the U.S., Texas, Mexico, or Spain!”. (if I had a dollar for every time I heard that growing up! The national rhetoric about “Latinos” doesn’t mention those who are not recent immigrants–but I digress.) But as much as I cherish my home state of Texas–in the I-can-talk-bad-about-Texas-but-don’t-you-dare-try kinda way, that’s just not gonna work for my boy in a plan B situation.
So on to the next plan.