My son turns 18 soon, and I feel as if I am back in college cramming for final exams.
I am not sure if it’s a combination of the time of the year or just too many strange coincidences all at once, but I am in full panic mode.
We have Homecoming at his high school, which includes five days of different themes. His annual ARD is within the next week. Then multiple doctor appointments 6 hours away. And, of course, the usual everyday craziness. The biggest upcoming hurdle, though, is an 18th birthday for a child with disabilities.
This 18th birthday means different things for someone with disabilities. We are filing for guardianship. We are having multiple meetings with attorneys. There’s another trip to the court on his birthday to get the official papers for doctors, schools and who knows who else, saying we are his decision makers.
I am also supposed to go to the Social Security Office to file for disability for him. I thought I would just swing by there to get some information. That was a joke! After sitting for an hour and estimating the rate of the customers being called, I would have been there at least another 2 hours before getting to speak with someone. Yikes!!
Yes, I will take off one morning next week and get this done. Yes, I know I should have probably thought of all of this months before my son turned 18. But let’s face it, most of us are just trying to survive.
While I was waiting for that hour, I came up with a better plan. Let’s have a party! Let’s celebrate this so-called transition into adulthood with a dance party. This has kept me from crying and has brought a big smile to my face.
That was until I realized, more planning! At least this will be something I don’t have to wait hours or months for and will be much more fun! Happy 18th Birthday, Jackson! Let’s dance!!
Find out how to plan for transition to adulthood for your child.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, we asked parents of children with disabilities and special health care needs to share their tips and stories about caring for their children during difficult times.