We found out where Beth is thriving! At work!
In Washington State, when your child turns 18 and has completed all the requirements of their IEP they get to graduate, but they don't leave the school system. They leave the high school and move to a transitional program that taught them how to fill out a job application, there were cooking classes, they helped families with guardianship, finding vocational services... it really was a great program. They introduced us to so many government services I didn't realize we would need. Then when they reach 21, they officially leave the school system and everything transfers over to the state.
One of the services we use is Washington Vocational Services. (It's paid for with funding from the state.) They meet with each family and figure out what your child (now young adult!) likes to do and researches job opportunities. They provide each client with a job coach and the two of them go job hunting. It removes the responsibility from mom and dad and I know for Beth, she was more willing to work with someone other
than us. :) The job coach goes to work with them, and makes sure they're doing the job correctly. They do this until the client can do the job on their own, then the job coach just occasionally checks in with them. (If the manager has a question or a situation arises with the client, they call the job coach, not mom or dad.) I think it's a wonderful system!
Yesterday we had our annual meeting with her job coach and oh. my. word. I walked out of there SO encouraged!!
Beth started working at Little Caesars Pizza about 5 months ago and her job coach 'K' told me that they adore
her there! The employees are protective of her and will get angry at the DART drivers if they happen to come late... they are always asking Beth if she's okay, if she needs anything... and she just eats it up!!
She works 2 nights a week, 3 hours a night and her job is folding boxes. They come flattened in a package of 50. She carries them over to the counter, unwraps the plastic wrapping, puts labels on each box, then folds them. When she first started there, the goal was 2 stacks a night. They told me yesterday that the goal now is 6 stacks!! She unwraps, labels, folds and stacks more than 250 boxes in just 3 hours! That's amazing! When I was telling Chuck and Diana last night, Diana said, "Wow! She really hustles at work! So she's just been fooling us at home, huh?" :)