Low Income and Subsidized Housing

Here’s more good information on kinds of affordable housing. There’s a real shortage of housing for people with very low incomes. It helps to get more familiar with what is our there. Affordable Housing Online just started a “premium service” that has a fee, but I get lots of information without paying for the premium service.

More info on housing options

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“Not Tommy”: Smart and Safe, Part 1

Katie’s mom and dad were so proud of her. She’d gotten her own apartment, and was really happy about it. Of course, it’d only been a day or two since they finished moving her in. She was 24, and had collected a bunch of furniture over the past couple of years, so she was ready to make the big step of moving to her own place. Tommy and Rick, two other residents helped Katie and her dad carry in the furniture.

Katie’s favorite thing was to go out shopping to find the little toys that were her hobby and obsession. She was anxious and focused on getting to go shopping all the time. After just a day at the apartment complex, Katie, who had autism and tends to be too friendly, asked Tommy to take her to a nearby resale shop. Tommy took her to the shop and a nearby garden store, and then out to Wendy’s. Katie said later that she’d offered to pay for their lunches at Wendy’s, but Tommy insisted on buying.

Katie’s mom, Maggie, was a little surprised that Katie wasn’t home when she arrived at the apartment that afternoon. An older gent sitting outside the building said that Katie had gone off with Tommy for a while. They must be back, the gent said, because, “there’s Tommy’s truck. I imagine your daughter is up sitting with Tommy.”

Just a minute later, Katie came down from Tommy’s apartment, and he followed, carrying two plastic totes. Katie had told Tommy that she needed a couple of those totes for her toys and other things in the apartment. Katie’s dad wanted his totes back, the ones Katie had used to transport her things to the apartment.

Katie would sometimes feel like everyone was correcting her and scolding her. She tended to overreact when corrected by family members, so Maggie talked very gently with Katie after Tommy left to go back up to his place.

“Katie, how did that happen that you went out with Tommy? How did you know if it would be OK?”

And Katie replied, with her characteristic naivete, “I asked him to take me to the resale shop. When I got in his truck, I asked Tommy if he was the kind of person who might hurt me or try to make out with me. And he said no, he is not that kind of person and wouldn’t do that.”

“But Katie,” Maggie asked, “What if he were that kind of person and you asked that question, I mean, not Tommy, but someone else?”

Katie was a bit naïve, but she understood. She replied, “Well, I guess a person who wanted to hurt me might say the same thing Tommy said.”

“Not Tommy,” Maggie said, “But someone else. You’re right, a person who intended to hurt you might say the same thing, that he wasn’t going to hurt you. It’s hard to know when it’s the truth.”

Maggie didn’t want to keep Katie from meeting new people, and didn’t want Katie to get frightened of the mostly very kind people around her, including Tommy. “With someone else,” Maggie said, “not Tommy, of course, but with anyone else, you need to be very careful. And your dad and I want to have the phone numbers of your friends. And we want you to have your phone with you.”

Still, Maggie was a bit worried about Tommy. Although she said “not Tommy”, she was thinking, “maybe Tommy.”

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Stay tuned for the rest of the story in a few days…

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The Housing Tale Continues

One of the biggest transitions for our adult child with disabilities was the transition to her own apartment. We signed up for waiting list openings to get the Section 8 voucher. One information source said that the waiting list hadn’t been open in ten years, and might not open for a while.

And, when they are open, we discovered that, in places like very-populated Ingham County, when the list opens, it may be for only a week or two. Low income housing is so sparse that the waiting lists are full.

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We applied to a couple of places. One was Alison House in Lansing. Another was an apartment complex in Mason. Our daughter got an apartment very quickly, probably because the waiting list is arranged with lowest income individuals at the top.

She doesn’t have the lowest rent, because she doesn’t have the voucher for people with disabilities, but she’s paying about what she paid us when she lived in our rental house.

I stayed with her the first two nights, so that she could adjust to things. She is blind and has autism, with sensory hypersensitivity. But it’s REALLY QUIET there, and she wasn’t bothered at all.

old townhousesSo I’d recommend that you find the places in your town that have rents scaled by income, fill out their (probably lengthy) application, and also keep an eye on the waiting list. If you live in Reed City or Baldwin, the list sits open all the time. If you live in a highly populated area, it may open very infrequently.

We get notices from Affordablehousing.com. I am not sure it’s the best place, but it’s the best I have found to monitor open waiting lists. More housing and independent living news to come…

 

 

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IEP Moms Sharing Saturday August 4

Parents of kids who have IEPs are welcome to come to Biggby 6439 S. Cedar, Lansing, Michigan, 9 to 11 AM, to share successes and concerns before the new school year. Watch this space…we may do this again before Labor Day. Lydia Schuck

http://www.edentransition.org

Better preparation for community organizations to serve youth and families with autism, from Autism Speaks

This came straight from the website of Autism Speaks:

“Unfortunately, boys and girls with autism often face barriers to participating fully in youth community organizations. And so with help from respected experts in the field of autism and special education, experienced parents and caregivers, we have created Leading the Way: Autism-Friendly Youth Organizations, a guide for organizations to ensure that youth with autism have the same formative experiences through community programs that are available to their typical peers.

The purpose of this guide is to better prepare community organizations to serve youth and families with autism. The information will help organizations learn to integrate youth with autism into existing programs, communicate with parents, and train their staff.”

Click here to download Leading the Way: Autism-Friendly Youth Organizations Guide. You can also download individual sections at the links below:

Introduction
About Autism: What You Need to Know
Inclusion: Leading the Way in Access for Everyone
Getting Started: Leading the Way to an Autism-Friendly Inclusive Environment
People and Places: Creating an Environment for Success
Strategies for Success: Supporting Learning and Growth in Youth with Autism

And straight from Eden Transition Alliance: Reminder of opportunity this Saturday, 8/4

Parents of  kids who have IEPs are welcome to come to Biggby 6439 S. Cedar, Lansing, Michigan, 9 to 11 AM, to share successes and concerns before the new school year. Watch this space…we may do this again before Labor Day.

Sign up to get our posts, and follow Lydia on Twitter @Lydia_Schuck.

IEP Moms (and Dads) Sharing Time Aug 4

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Quick! Before school starts, build up your reserves of encouragement and strategies to support your child with disabilities. It doesn’t matter how old your children are…you have something to offer, and probably want to hear the concerns of other parents. You might be homeschooling or public schooling, with or without an IEP, but you have concerns about your child’s needs and achievement.

Come talk with other parents on Saturday, Aug. 4, anytime between 9 and 11 AM at Biggby, 6439 S. Cedar in Lansing, Michigan. This meeting will be facilitated by Lydia Schuck. No legal advice will be given, but we will have a copy of the special education laws and regulations to look at.

 

Educating youth with mental health, emotional, or behavioral concerns: a new publication from @PACER

Helpful new publication now available

Educating Your Child with Mental Health, Emotional, or Behavioral Disorders: Information for Parents is now available upon request. This concise guide will help parents of children with mental health, emotional, or behavioral disorders to participate effectively in special education planning. Each chapter includes a set of questions to consider when thinking about developing the Individualized Education Program (IEP), including school discipline policies, placement options, and behavioral and emotional support needs. One copy is free to Minnesota parents of children or youth with disabilities. For professionals it is $5 | 10+ copies, $4 each |Get it from PACER Center at this link: PHP-a21black young woman looking forward

10 ways to affect outcomes of youth with disabilities

Today we want to connect you to an excellent video from the Center on Transition Innovations at Virginia Commonwealth University. The video highlights 10 ways to affect outcomes of youth with disabilities. The video is captioned, so it is also easy to share with friends who have hearing loss or are Deaf or Deafblind. Pass it around, and visit other places on the center’s website, as well. And be sure to follow us to get the next post. There’s so much to learn about supporting young adults with disabilities in their transitions to adulthood.asian teen girl smiling