Empey resident Bambi recently celebrated a great milestone: high school graduation! Her teacher Mary Scates and Santa Clara County Office of Education administrator Kathy Bays came to Bambi’s LSA home to present her with a Certificate of Completion. Bambi was cheered on by her roommates and LSA staff and a party followed.
Now that Bambi is 22 and no longer eligible to receive services from the public school system, she faces an issue that all adults with developmental disabilities and their families face: What’s next?
Aging out of school means that an adjustment in routine takes place, and alternatives to the time spent in school are needed. Beyond basic care needs, adults with developmental disabilities are often without employment or other opportunities to build the skills that able-bodied people in the workforce or higher education are afforded. Options for skill-building (i.e. day programs) for adults with special needs are limited and can be challenging to access due to transportation requirements, caregivers’ work schedule, medical needs, and other factors. Without opportunities to socialize, they can also become isolated and vulnerable to abuse. This period of transition can put a stressful burden on individuals and families as they struggle to find and adjust to new and appropriate alternatives.
What options does an adult with developmental disabilities have, not just to survive – but to thrive?
Life Services Alternatives strives to be one solution to this lesser-known issue. Providing the highest-quality housing and care for adults with developmental disabilities, LSA also administers exceptional programs that foster independence and skill-building. Residents of each home benefit from LSA’s residential program every day. Non-residents can participate in LSA’s day program – called the Community Integration Training Program (CITP) – and practice skills through volunteer work at local nonprofits.
Fortunately for Bambi, her “what next” involves continuing to build skills as a participant of Empey’s in-home day program and enjoying independence and community living as a valued part of the LSA family. For others though, that transition is much more complex and uncertain. By donating to LSA, you are helping us provide high-quality programs and care for those navigating this crucial step in their lives.