Since I wrote of Cameron’s postsecondary funding dilemma last week, not much progress has been made. My head still spins over what options are available, how much funding he will be eligible for, and exactly how much is reasonable to spend out of our own pocket. Is the return on investment of postsecondary education sufficient to offset the loss of those funds for long term lifespan support? As my husband is a fan of saying, “You can only spend money once.” What if we spend it one way, but Cameron ends up needing a different level of financial support later on down the road?
Everything being up in the air (still!) with Cameron’s next steps has given me pause to ponder what I’d consider an ideal scenario for him: continued academic development, the opportunity to live away from home and hone his independent living skills, access to a semi-structured social setting, and vocational development to aid him in being fully employed upon the program’s completion. It’s hard to prioritize the items in that list, as I see them all as equally important. The end goal is for Cameron to have the potential to maintain full-time employment and be able to live independently. I’d like for Cameron to quickly earn his way to independence from my support, as well as institutional supports. What will it take to get him there, and how much upfront investment is it worth?
Cameron made the familiar trip to visit his father this past weekend. Midweek last week, Cameron asked me if everything was still on for his trip. I assured him that everything was set, and asked him why he was worried.
“Well, you didn’t remind me to tell work I wouldn’t be there this weekend.”
“Did you tell them you wouldn’t be there?”
“Yes. I told them on Saturday.”
“Then why did I need to remind you?”
“You just always do.”
Case in point of why Cameron and I need an opportunity in which he can be more independent without my constant availability. These unintentional interventions of mine have apparently been something that Cameron has come to rely on.
I’m sure I could find a similar case in point for each of the items in my ideal scenario list. Maybe I need to come to grips with the fact that a pricey program that checks each item on the list isn’t the only way to address those items. Maybe, like the financial side, the content side is a lifespan issue. However alluring the one-stop-shopping appeal of two-to-four-year campus-based program is, perhaps there’s a more cost effective way to reach the same goals. There are job supports and internship programs to apply for, social groups to join, online and specialty community college courses to look into … The one component that comes to mind as being tricky to replicate without the pricey program is the independent living piece. We’ll keep plugging away though. Maybe relaxing a little might be in order. I thought I was going to get to do that when Cameron got accepted into a program … Oh well.