ADULT FAMILY CARE NURSE

by DEBORAH FRAZER RN, BSN
(PITTSFIELD, MA.)

I WORK WITH DEVELOPMENTALLY CHALLENGED INDIVIDUALS AGES 16 AND UP AND MANY OF THE INDIVIDUALS SERVED HAVE AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDERS.

RECENTLY I HAVE BEEN WORKING WITH A MOTHER WHO IS VERY CONCERNED ABOUT HER 20 YEAR OLD SONS SOCIAL ANXIETY. SHE HAS CONTINUALLY ATTEMPTED TO HAVE HIM INVOLVED WITH PEER GROUPS SUCH AS IN BOWLING ACTIVITIES OR CAMPS WITH LIKE INDIVIDUALS. SHE IS BECOMING MORE FRUSTRATED AS HE CONTINUALLY REFUSES INTERACTION WITH OTHERS OR SOCIAL ACTIVITIES AT ALL ACCEPT WITH HIS IMMEDIATE FAMILY. HE IS NOW ON ATIVAN JUST TO GET HIM THROUGH A SCHOOL DAY.

MOM HAS EXPRESSED INTEREST IN EDUCATION ON "SENSORY INTEGRATION DYSFUNCTION IN YOUNG ADULTS". THIS YOUNG MAN WILL BE IN SCHOOL WITH SUPPORTS UNTIL AGE 22 AND OUR CASE MANAGER HAS ATTENDED IEP'S TO WORK WITH THE SCHOOL ON MANAGING HIS IN SCHOOL EXPERIENCES C/O LEARNING AND FINDING A SUITABLE PARAPROFESSIONAL. HE HAS HAD ISSUES IN THE PAST WITH HIS PARAPROFESSIONALS AND WAS PAIRED WITH AN DIFFERENT PARA AT THE END OF THE LAST SCHOOL YEAR. INCONSISTENCY IS A REAL CHALLENGE AND NEXT YEAR HE MAY HAVE TO GET USED TO YET ANOTHER PARAPROFESSIONAL. I FIND INCONSISTENCY TO BE A MAJOR ISSUE IN THE EDUCATIONAL PROCESS FOR DEVELOPMENTALLY CHALLENGED INDIVIDUALS. I UNDERSTAND FUNDING AND THE LACK OF TRAINED PARAPROFESSIONALS ARE FACTORS. HOWEVER, I HAVE NOTICED A DEFINITE NEGATIVE IMPACT ON EFFECTIVELY EDUCATING AND INTEGRATING THE POPULATION WE SERVE. I AM INTERESTED IN HEARING HOW OTHER PARENTS OF AUTISTIC YOUNG ADULTS HAVE DEALT WITH SOCIAL AS WELL AS EDUCATIONAL ISSUES.

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