Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Big change!

The big change in my life is that my son has moved out of the house last Thursday. He now lives with one of the people who has been working with him 2 days a week over the last couple of years and where he also regularly went for a short stay, like weekends or holidays. He always loved going there so he was very happy to hear that he could live with them for a while and not at some strange place with strange people.

N. and her husband have a small apartment next to their house, which is perfect for my son to live in. It's a great place where he can learn how to take care of himself and where he will be able to learn the necessary tools to live on his own in the future. 
Here at home he wasn't growing anymore. As a matter of fact, in some ways he was acting more autistic then he had ever done before! His behavior really put a strain on me! At the same time I was really tired of having people over at my house 5 days a week. I have been dealing with that over the last 9 years and over the last year or so, it was wearing me out. I suppose I'm in desperate need for more privacy!!

In my country it is hard to find a good place to live for someone with autism and high functioning, especially of my son's age (18). There seem to be a lot of good places for people with autism who are also mentally handicapped. For higher functioning adolescents with autism they either have to live in a group home or on their own, there is hardly to find anything in between. My son needs to have his own apartment with 2 or 3  people coming by to check on him or whom he can call when he's in need of help. He couldn't bare living in a group home with different staff every other day or so. He would also get crazy if he had to share the kitchen and bathroom with other people (this was already getting a problem here at home). 
Well, for now he has his own apartment with: living room, bedroom, bathroom and kitchen.

His apartment is on the left of the house.

His living room.

The kitchen with dining table.

The bedroom and on the other side of the stairs there is a 

working space. His computer now stands on the right side of the desktop.

The bathroom.

N. and her husband are living close by if he needs help and he still has the 2 other attendants who come over to work with him in the afternoons. N. and the 2 other attendants are all working 2 afternoons with my son, in which they will help him to learn how to cook other meals then the ones he already learned to cook at home, how to clean his apartment, wash his laundry, etc. etc..  Because the apartment is separate from the main house with its own frontdoor, the 2 other attendants don't need to come in the main house and bother N. and her husband. 

Somehow it feels like a failure to me that I had to let him go (I wish I could afford to buy/rent a house like N. and her husband have!), but I also know that he needs this change to grow and become more independent! So, I suppose in the end it's okay!! I think it will feel strange though having the house all to myself. But ... in June he will come home for a whole week because N. and her husband also need some time to be on their own from time to time! :D

PS: It was hard on my son to leave our beloved Misty behind. He has to wait until my birthday (later this month) before he can see her again. Luckily he could take his guinea pig Streep with him to his new apartment!  


Joyce van der Lely said...

Congrats Anniek, for sharing the story and for your son to take this step and for you for letting him "go" Sterkte !!! en Success !!! xoxo

Marit said...

Dat is een hele stap Anniek, maar wat een prachtige oplossing is dit zowel voor je zoon als voor jou! Ja, loslaten is moeilijk (mijn zoon ging afgelopen November het huis uit) maar je geeft zelf aan dat dit nodig is en je ziet het heel scherp. Knap hoor! Heel veel succes met wennen en veel plezier met al het nieuwe voor jullie allebei!