Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Job Training

I went to a meeting this morning at the hospital where our fragile X meeting (planned and sponsored by Fragile X Association of Washington State) will be held in less than three weeks. We have been working on this for almost a year when the first agenda item was accomplished, reserving the room. Next, speakers were arranged and now we are working on additional publicity (to parents, teachers, professionals) and other details that need to be attended to. It was a necessary, worthwhile meeting. I went with one other board member and after the meeting we went to central supply to see her 20-year-old son with fragile X who works there as part of his job training. He has an appealing, quiet, shy nature and characteristics that remind me of my two sons with fragile X. I remember well when Clark and Phil (at different high schools) went through job training. They worked in small groups with job coaches at hospitals, a laundry facility, a warehouse and other places I can no longer remember. These experiences are for students with disabilities to prepare them for life after 21 when they will hopefully enter the job market. Clark worked at Deseret Industries (a thrift store) for almost eleven years and Phil for six years. Phil went on to work at Denali Fitness until he was laid off after 1 ½ years. Now they are both fulltime stay-at-home sons. Clark will probably never be employed again because of seizures and anxiety but I have hope that Philip will. All the work training they have had in the past 20 years has helped mold them and train them for work at our house. They could not articulate that these jobs help them feel confident and worthwhile but I know the jobs do and that carries over into other aspects of their lives. They still need supervision and reminders with some jobs, which can require a lot of work, patience, and long suffering for the parents as those with small children understand, but other jobs they can do on their own and that brings happiness to all of us.

Here is Clark sanding boards while Phil is washing cars.

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