To the Editor:

I saw the article in Tuesday’s paper about Jerrol’s store and how supportive they are with employing persons with disabilities.  I commend them for that. I am one of their loyal customers.

My son is on the autistic spectrum as well. He also is in his 30s which makes him in a higher age bracket. He has his own apartment and manages his own finances. He knows how to do a lot of things. However he still has trouble with home management things like healthy diets and cooking for himself, good hygiene and organizing his living space. He is considered “high enough” functioning that he does not qualify for state DDA funding. And the home care service he was able to get is not set up to teach him how to manage his life better. Their inclinations are to just get things done and leave. DVR has refused to give him vocational services because he has “too many home and personal” issues which they feel would get in the way of employment.

My son, however, has still been forging ahead trying to work on and overcome his personal issues. He has been enrolled in YVCC in the IT support specialist program. He loves the field of computer technology and all that it involves. His dream is to someday work in the IT field. He takes the bus by himself to school and is able to navigate the educational system on his own. He is half way through his degree program and is finishing up fall quarter — 12 credits — with B+ grades. Now he has learned there is a HUD regulation saying if he is the sole occupant in low income (elderly/disabled) housing he cannot be a full-time student. His choices are to quit school entirely, go half-time or move to another type of non-subsidized housing. Unfortunately, if he drops to part-time student status he would not get enough financial aid to cover all his expenses. And he cannot afford other available housing on his own.

So what is the future for this young man who wants so badly to find his “niche” and feel good about his life? He feels like he never can get a break, that there is no future for him out there anywhere, and there is nothing else he can do. How can we help him? 

Rhonda Edwards



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