Friday, February 20, 2015

Glad It's Over

We had Beth's annual assessment with DDA today. They want to make sure she should still be receiving SSI each month so every year they come out and ask about her abilities.

Can she use household appliances?

Does she get out into the community?

Is she able to take a shower on her own?

Does she know what to do in an emergency?

Can she schedule and keep doctor's appointments?

At the end, her case manager was pleased with how independent she is. Then he asked us about respite care and I always hesitate because Beth goes places all the time so it's not like we really need a break from her. But then he mentioned about her bowling and going to art classes and said that respite care can pay for that.

Wait, what??

All Aboard is a contracted respite provider and the state will pay them for us! It's not much each month, but it's somethin'!! Yes, please!

So he moved on to another part of the assessment, a part he does if we want the respite care. He's never done this part before and it really kind of stung. He began asking Beth questions:

"What year is it?" She didn't say anything.

"What day of the week is it?" She hung her head. "Is it Monday or Tuesday..." Then she responded, "Is Friday."

"What city are we in?" No comment.

"What season are we in right now?" No answer. "Is it Spring or Winter..." No answer.

"What building are we in?" Silence.

It was SO hard not to reword the question like I do so many times a day! Just a few minutes earlier she was signing papers and wrote the date, 2/20/15 but I don't think she realized he was wanting her to say, "2015." And this morning she asked if summer was coming (It took me a second to realize she wasn't talking about a person) because she wants it to be warm and sunny. So she knows the seasons. And after he asked her if we were at her house, she said yes. Chuck then said, "We've never really referred to this as a building before, huh?"

I mean, she knows she's at home, come on! She knows what a building is. She knows her address.  It was hard to sit there and watch her struggle with the meanings of these sentences when they were worded like this. Of course, I began to wonder if I had done enough to teach her while she was growing up... you know, all that mom-doubt stuff. Ugh. It just was so hard to sit there and watch her. BUT, because of the way she answered, it means the state will pay for a respite provider, whether that be All Aboard or others (he's going to send us a list) so I guess it's good.

But I'm sure glad that meeting is over!

1 comment:

Caz said...

I can imagine how hard it must be not to prompt or interprete for Beth in those situations. Of course you want to demonstrate her achievements and strengths. Personally, I think not thinking of her house as a building but as her home - a much more complex and human concept - puts her way ahead of the assessor. And demonstrates that the lessons you've taught her have been the right ones.