Friday, May 25, 2018

The Sheltered Life #FridayReflections

My autistic brother in law, Bil, spent much of the years of his adult life, sheltered, in either a sheltered workshop (where he made less than the minimum wage) or, in his bedroom.

That has changed in the past two and a half years, after his two brothers moved him (and his elderly mother, now ailing) up to be near us.

We had better programs here - no reflection at all on his mother, who did what she could raising him in an age where there were few services for people with autism.

Sheltered workshops no longer exist - and as a result, my brother in law no longer works.  One adjustment.

Sometimes, I am in awe of my brother in law.  He has had to make so many adjustments in so little time.

There is another one coming, as his mother will be transitioning from rehab into skilled nursing in the near future.  She needs 24 hour care for an ailment and won't be able to return home after three hospitalizations in a month's time.  And now, we have a month to clean out her apartment, including the room that was once his shelter.  Three moves in less than three years.

"Bil", earlier this year, moved into what is called supportive housing, and now is experiencing life on his own (with a roommate, and support, but still on his own).  How daring can that be, in your late 50's?

He has the chance for independence, finally, and I hope he has the daring to take full advantage of it.  So far he is taking baby steps - and what else would one expect, when the door to independence of a sheltered life opens?

But, sooner or later, there will be still another leaving from his sheltered life, when the mother who cared for him for almost 60 years takes her ultimate journey.

What will happen then?

Today, on #FridayReflections,I am writing from the prompt "A sheltered life can be a daring life as well. For all serious daring starts from within. - Eudora Welty"  Join Shalini and Corinne at Everyday Gyaan, and contribute your own #FridayReflections.


  1. It's amazing how he does seem to be coping isn't it ... this is good to read - yet of course as you say ... what next once his mother leaves these shores to higher places. All the best to you and the family - Hilary

  2. I think your brother-in-law is very brave. I wish him all the best.


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