Letting Go

44 minutes 2012 8.2/10 based on 5 votes

Being the parent of a disabled child can be an uphill battle. As the child grows you are well aware that they don’t posses the skills they need to be able to survive on their own. You have no idea how independent they can really be and you wonder what will become of them once you’re gone. Who will protect them?

Finding homes that are safe and secure is not an easy task, either. But how can parents plan for them within the limitations of what they can realistically do? In the UK less than 1 in 5 people with learning disabilities manage to get a job. Most of those jobs are part time or unpaid positions.

Domenica has Down syndrome. She is close to sixteen and even though on the surface she seems to be equal to her peers, deep inside that isn’t so. Her parents worry about what will happen to her now that she’s facing such an important crossroads in her life. Domenica’s mother feels that she’s leaving school with very little qualifications. This limits her possibilities of taking care of herself.

Jack is seventeen years old and he lives in a small community.  He also has Down syndrome. When asked where he wants to live once he leaves school, he says he wants to live in Las Vegas. He wants to be famous and to make his dreams come through. According to his parents, although he’s aware of his condition, he just wants to be like everybody else. He can’t join in with the regular teenage activities, but he has high ambitions and his parents are willing to support him.

Richard is a young man with Down syndrome and he’s living back home with his parents after an attempt to live on his own went terribly wrong. His mother rented an apartment close to the family home where he was supposed to live for the rest of his life. His neighbors bullied him relentlessly and the whole situation scared him to death. So even with all the support he had in becoming independent, his mother has to start planning again for his future.

Jessica has a genetic condition that translates into both physical and learning disabilities. At age 28, she’s still a child. She needs constant care and protection provided by supportive adults. Her parents have found an apartment where she has lived on her own for the last two years. She enjoys living on her own, although she was scared at first. Until now she hasn’t had any incidents, but her dad stops by every morning to help.

The government encourages independence for disabled adults and so parents find themselves planning for the future of their children who still need support. But for a mother, is it ever really possible to let go? Watch this now.

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