Thursday, June 23, 2011

My little brother is turning 21 soon...

Turning 21, to most people, means they can legally drink, buy scratch-offs, and go gamble at a casino. However, to my family, it's completely different. The last and most precious child is turning 21 in just a few short weeks, and we've been preparing for it for several months now.

One of the steps my parents took is to enroll Matt in the Challenge Division. Since we enrolled him before his birthday and then filled out an age exception form, he can continue to participate for several more years.

Here are some of my favorite photos from Matt's first year on our town's Challenger league:

This has been such amazing opportunity for him. He has made new friends, learned new things, and gained so much independence. I am so glad that he was able to participate this year, and can now stay in the program for several more years, especially because he is aging out of his high school program and will not receive any more services in that aspect.

It's for me to accept that he will not be receiving any more academic support or services, or speech/OT/PT. I am worried that the little academic ability and muscular development he has gained over the past few years, will be lost in just a few short weeks without school to keep him active.

Luckily, my mom heard of a new program in our area that is for people with disabilities and provides services though Medicaid. The program that Matt will participate in is considered "supplemental day habilitation." They do academic workshops, develop their social skills, and also go on "field trips" to practice life skills and independence in society. They go to different malls, restaurants, and shops, the zoo and the aquarium, bowling, and for nature walks. Matt will be able to start over the summer as a transition from his high school program.

Health-wise, Matt is doing fine. Nothing alarming in any of his blood work. Besides this school transition, he is transitioning to a new nephrologist, since his kidney doctor right now is a pediatric nephrologist. (Side note - Blogger thinks nephrologist should be neurologist. I think they need to take an anatomy course.) We are not sure how this will work out in the long run, but we already a doctor lined up, one my mom knows personally. Otherwise, the rest of his doctors will continue to see him.

All of this aside, we continue to thank God each day that Matt is still with us. A 21st birthday is a reason to celebrate, for more than just alcohol or scratch-offs.

The reason is life.

Also... I love making collages using photoscape.

1 comment:

Michelle said...

Happy Birthday to your brother. (((Praying God's blessing in his life)))