I'm the mom of a 24 y/o man with spastic diplegia. He's always been smart, funny, and a great student, but due to physical problems hasn't been able to get past 2nd semester freshman year of college and does not yet drive. In recent months, this has caused him much frustration and now he's convinced he'll never be able to hold a job since he has frequent painful muscle spasms, still has a strong startle reflex, and might miss work too often to be a good employee.
How did you get thru college and what job do you hold successfully? I need ideas!
I think the key is finding out what things he is interested in and then find ways he might be able to do that. Also, I dont know where you are from, but most states have BVR that will help with these things.
I made it through college by taking 2 or 3 classes at a time. It took longer, but at least I got done. I work in software development. Most of my job involves sitting so it's generally not physically strenuous. Sometimes it is mentally strenuous, but if it wasn't I assume would get boring.
Thanks to both of you for replying! May I ask what BVR is? I'm guess something to do with vocational rehab, but am lost about the B.
Our son has built several computers and is interested in all manner of things, ideas, justice and Constitutional issues, to name a few. Not that I'm biased, but he's brilliant! He also has a wicked sense of humor and speaks German fairly well.
When in college, how did you each manage the attendance requirement some classes have? That has been a huge problem.
Since he speak fluent geramn, he might be able to be an interpreter, at least on the side.
I have a friend who is from African who is legally blind who is an interpreter. I might be wrong here, but if I remeber right, the company she works for sometimes calls her whenever they need her to interpret over the phone, and if she can't help, they call someone else. She also interprets for meetings and what not.
There might also be interpreter opportunities availablbe online or something like that.
As far as classes, do you mean that he misses class a lot?
Not sure I can answer for that one, but things my husband did were: getting assitance from the disability center each college has, continually being in contact with the teachers, and getting a tutor/ studay partner to help keep up with his studies.
Just wondering if any of you with jobs, do you drive yourselves? How is it driving a car - is it difficult? Do you have special cars?
When my husband has a job, either I drive him or he rides either the paratransit or regular bus.
Not only does his spasms make it so he can't drive, but, and, well, this is actuallythe main reason, he is legally blind. the nice thing for him, since he is blind, is that when he is working, SSI 'reimburses' him for what he spends on bus passes/ gas to get to work. I think that is only a blindness related thing though, not impairment related, but, personally I think, ANYONE who can't drive due to ANY impairment should be able to do that... but eh, there's a huge difference between my own opinions and what the gov;t actually does