Maria described how frustrating this is to her. She and her staff work tirelessly to provide the highest quality education they are able, with limited resources, to their students with severe disabilities. And then, suddenly, it’s over. The child is out of school, with nothing to replace it, no job coach, no DSPD, no Medicaid, nothing.
We had a similar conversation two years ago with the president of the parent’s organization at our first school, San Manuelito, with a mother struggling to find help for her two young adult children with Down Syndrome. “No hay nada,” she told us, “There is nothing.”
Maria asked if there is any way Amigos de San Manuelito might be able to help these families. Our first thought was, “No, we can’t. We’re too small. We don’t have enough money.” As the conversation continued, we realized that maybe, on a very small scale, there is something we can do. Maybe we can help one child, one young adult with disabilities, to have at least a slightly better quality of life. Maybe next year the young woman with severe autism who calmed when we gave her headphones, who will turn 20 next year, maybe there is something we can do, something, to help her family in some way with her care. And as we grow as an organization, maybe another young adult, maybe another, maybe another.
It takes a village. The need is so great.