Monday, February 15, 2010

Earning a Living

 Back in the 1970's, job opportunities were somewhat limited for someone with autism.  Unfortunately, they still are (in many cases).

After bil graduated from high school, he tried to go to college (right after high school, so that would have been in the late 70's-before any kind of supports were available for those on the spectrum) unsucessfully. Subsequently, he ended up at a sheltered workshop through the local ARC.  He is still working in the sheltered environment.

There is a appreciation award on the wall in my mother in law's house, thanking bil for his 25 years of service.  He got that award several years ago.

Over the years, his work experiences weren't always successful.  There was one job in particular he got fired from because of a supervisor who was (to put it mildly) less than willing to work with him.   But that was many years ago.

Right now he only works part time, 16 hours a week.  He works with blister packaging for medical needles.

I do not know what he makes now, but several years ago, it was below minimum wage.

How is someone supposed to live on that?  That would be worth its own series of posts.  I am no expert on this, just a family member, but it seems the "system" is designed to keep those with disabilities at a poverty level, trapped.  Just an observation.

He says the work is OK.   I know his Medicaid Service Coordinator has been looking into other opportunities for him on a higher level, and I know that in the past he has been somewhat resistant to any kind of change.

I will write more on this at a later time, although it may be a while.

I am not sure he is truly happy with his life, but it is so hard for him to communicate what is on his mind. 

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