My 19-year-old daughter, Sandra, enjoys many activities typical for her age...texting, social media, reading, cooking, baking, movies, skiing, skating, biking, swimming, dancing, and singing. She also loves school and learning. Sandra, who has Down syndrome, has developed these skills through her own hard work, and the support of her community: Teachers, EA's, Professionals, Respite workers, Camp counsellors, Friends and Family.
As Sandra approaches adulthood, some of these supports have started disappearing, and others will disappear as she ages out of high school and other programs. As parents, we want to provide the opportunities, support and encouragement for Sandra to continue to reach her true potential.
However we can’t do this alone; Sandra needs a new “community” as she enters adulthood. Building this community starts with Independent Facilitation. We have seen first-hand the success that Independent Facilitation has brought to other Adults with Developmental Disabilities who we know.
We have proactively started on this path, to provide Sandra with the best transition possible into adulthood. We do not have family in town and Sandra does not have any adult supports or plans for her future...for her Life After High-School.
My husband or myself will need to stay home full-time to care for Sandra, which means one of us will no longer be able to work. Working with an Independent Facilitator will help Sandra develop a Support Circle, to Work, Volunteer, have Choices, make Decisions, gain adult Skills, live Safely and be involved in our Community, rather than being isolated at home.
Sandra has not been isolated as a child, and she deserves not to be isolated as an adult. As my husband and I age, we need to have a plan in place for Sandra. Independent Facilitation will guide Sandra in that planning.
It is crucial that our Provincial Government continues to fund Independent Facilitation so that Sandra, and other Adults with Developmental Disabilities, can plan, organize and fulfill their Dreams and Goals throughout their Lifelong Journey. This is not only the right thing to do, it is also the fiscally responsible thing to do. Proactively funding Independent Facilitation will help Sandra (and other adults) develop independence, minimizing their use of other government resources and funding.
Independent Facilitation will provide the support for Sandra to find her path to plan and build the life that she wants.
Our Provincial Government needs to take the time to research and understand the importance of Independent Facilitation.