A couple of weeks ago, Cody’s grandmother (who lives with us) became ill with an upper respiratory virus and was hospitalized twice inside of a week. It was clear to me then that her health was deteriorating quickly and that left me no other choice but to quit my job at the behavioral facility where I worked, and stay at home to take care of her and my other obligations.
This has given me a firsthand opportunity to see for myself how things are going with Cody and his new occupational tech. I quickly noticed some areas that needed some attention.
The main goal in having day hab services for Cody has always been to help him learn the skills to be self-sufficient. And it is necessary for him to be out in the community to learn part of those skills; there are also skills that need to be learned here at home. However, I found that there was more playing than what I was comfortable with going on instead.
It is important to me that Cody’s activities with the occupational techs that work with him have a clear agenda. Yes, fun can be incorporated into the plan and I want it to be fun for them both. But on days when they are going out into the community there needs to be a goal of what they will accomplish and I want to know what that is and where it will be done. So last week, when I asked where and what they were going to do and the response I received was, “I don’t know … wherever he wants to go I guess.” Well you can imagine I was less than satisfied.
I also noticed there were tasks at home that were being neglected. When I explained to the service provider in our initial meetings that I wanted Cody to learn to make his bed, I knew it would take time for him to learn to make his bed in a proper manner. But after several months I expected to at least see the techs were working with him to improve his performance. Last week, I walked into his room to find that the top quilt had simply been pulled up over a mass of jumbled sheets and blankets. I was not impressed.
Until recently, I had made it a point to check progress notes the techs would leave in Cody’s plan binder on only an occasional basis. Last week, I found daily notes that said nothing more than, “Cody went with me to the mall. He had a great time.” There was nothing about, where they went in the mall, with whom Cody interacted and in what way, or what outcome was addressed and how well did he do. I was not pleased.
My frustration here is I feel like we have made great strides to communicate with the service provider and the occupational technicians as to what our expectations are. I bought the supplies for assisting Cody in his continued academic learning. I made a special point of purchasing a schedule poster and writing the scheduled tasks on it. I posted it on the kitchen door which is a place where it cannot be overlooked. I have verbally communicated with techs and supervisors and Cody’s caseworker what we wanted to see in the plan. And the plan was written to those specifications. There is a copy of it in the binder the techs all use. I’ve read it and I feel it’s written in very clear form. So why are we having to continually address this kind of issue?
I don’t mean to sound ungrateful for these services provided that are paid for by the state. I am thankful for them. Without this resource it would mean Bill and I would have to pay for services out of pocket. Now more than ever, that is not something we can afford.
So, for now I have no choice but to learn new coping skills to manage my frustration of having to repeat myself to those who are supposed to be in charge of Cody’s services, and having to micro-manage the continual flow of strangers who enter my home and work with my son.