Aidan has his own apartment and is moving out! Just kidding!
If you’re a parent of a kid with disabilities, you know that the vast majority of adults with disabilities live in poverty or financial dependence. It’s a fact, and a scary one at that. The statistics are miserable for adults with disabilities, who still fight for their civil rights every day. Sheltered workshops and pay for more than a few pennies an hour? The right to live in a neighborhood of their choosing? The right to marry? The right not to be sterilized and have children? And so on. Therefore, you know that future planning for your child is important, so that they are able to live happy and fulfilled lives. Because I guarantee you, if you leave it to chance, the outcome is not going to be pretty.
Well, it might come as a shock, but I am a bit of a planner. 😉 So the real news here is that Aidan’s dad and I have finally begun serious “special needs” (if you know me, you know I don’t like that term) planning for Aidan’s longterm future. He’s gonna be 17 next week, and we finally agreed on a few things in that department, so that’s a success, right?
We want Aidan to live a fun and happy life of traveling, selling his crafts (more on that later) and running his own small business. Like really small, as in micro business. While California will be his permanent home, Johnny has already been making a life where he can travel more (he works now but technically retired already) and Shane (my ex) already works from home full time. I will work for myself, or at most part-time or contract for others. It’s a given that Aidan’s life is going to be like ours.
To that end, my ex and I sold our teeny tiny 600 s.f. first home that we bought 15 years ago. Yes, we still owned it together, the plan had been for him to keep maintaining it till I graduated from law school–NEXT YEAR, PRAISE JESUS, AND NO, I AM NOT CHRISTIAN. But, he kind of pushed me to sell, so I did. It made me really unhappy not to have something tying me to my hometown of Austin. So I was able to use that profit to get a 2-2 older condo in Austin. (“Condo” makes it sound much nicer than it really is, by the way, it’s an apartment, let’s be real.) Either way, it’s being set up for Aidan and future disability attendants to be able to visit and yet have a place of his own to stay while visiting family and friends.
Aidan’s dad is also currently buying a place in Florida, in his hometown, near the beach. He’s not moving there, but he will visit frequently. His sister will live in it to pay the mortgage, and she has 3 sons, all Aidan’s cousins! So that’s another stop for the kid, again to see family.
That seemed a decent part of our plan, in addition to the state agency services we are prepping him for. But then, the weirdest thing happened, the house next door to us went up for sale, and just sat on the market. We decided that we might never get the chance again for the house NEXT DOOR, so made an offer, and it was accepted. Plans are to move into it–longterm plans are to make our current house a home for Aidan to live in with roommates and attendants. So it’s like a non-state assisted living home, with us nearby in case anything happens. Basically he’ll live next door, but not with us. (And this is all good and well till Aidan says “Screw you, Mom!” and runs away to live in Panama or something. But I’m gonna control what I can, when I can.)
Aidan has yet to pay us rent, but like I said, he’s working on a microbiz, and if I can at least get the electric bill out of him by the time he’s 18, we’ll be doing good. I plan to work pretty much forever–I mean, that’s just the way it is when you have a kid who has vastly different supported living needs than others.
Just so long as he brings me coffee next door once in a while, right?
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