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Saturday, March 14, 2020

It is tough being 17

Brendan wants a job. This is very difficult because he really doesn't seem to understand that he is not capable of holding a job.

He has a job coach at school which has been a really awesome experience. He has taken many tours and has 'worked' many different jobs. He obviously loves it and always enjoys going out and about and experiencing different things. He has worked with the police station, at a local bakery, CVS and is currently going to a movie theater. He has toured amazon, an auto parts store and some other places. He needs a huge amount of assistance physically and socially. It has made me realize how incapable he really is. To me Brendan is Brendan. I now he is different, I know he needs a lot of assistance. I know he can't focus. I know he has a lot of trouble accomplishing tasks. I know he gets distracted. I know he rather talk to people than actually get anything accomplished and while I know all of this there is a tiny part of my brain that thinks there must be something out there for him! But then I stop in to spy on him at the bakery and realize he is not able to actually do anything. His job coach wheels him around and he can't even pour coffee. I am sadly reminded that he is not capable of working.

His left hand and arm is the least affected. It is really hard to do things with one hand, never mind also trying to control a wheelchair especially lacking any sort of drive and determination. To live a life with his brain is completely incomprehensible to me. He is actually very smart and he remembers everything but he has a lot of trouble saying what his brain is thinking. He hates to answer questions and actually refuses to. He has come a long but is no where near a typical 17 year old. Yet he thinks he can just go out and get a job. He has much higher expectations than what is seemingly possible.

He came home with an application last week and was obsessed with filling it out. I read the application and it is for truck drivers delivering ice. I tried to explain that there is no way he can do this job. They would like you to have a CDL license. Brendan can't even get a regular license. He wouldn't listen to me at all. He had one thing on his mind and that was to fill out this application. We decided to let him if he could do it himself. I text his job coach and he told me that Brendan had insisted printing out the application even though he told him the job wasn't really good for him. We explained to Brendan how to fill it out and where to write certain things. Brendan can not write, never mind read. I am fairly certain his 5 year old sister could have filled it out better. You couldn't read anything he wrote but at this point I had no choice but to let him accomplish this task so we could all move on for the night. He folded it and put it into his pouch that he takes to school everyday. I told him to give it to his job coach. I text his job coach to let him know the situation. Brendan told me the application was turned in and they would call him.

Brendan thinks that he has the job. He is waiting for them to call him back. I have explained many times that isn't how it works. They will look at all the applications and choose the best qualified person for the job. I don't think he understands at all. I have to get point blank at times and just say "Brendan, you can not lift ice, you can not drive a truck, you can not work this job" but for some reason he honestly thinks he can. I explain that his 15 year old sister has applied to multiple jobs and hasn't received a call back. That helped a little.

Last month he asked if the orthopedic appliance shop was hiring for the Summer. He went and asked for an application. I knew they wouldn't hire him so I let him do what he wanted to do. He gave them his cell phone number just in case they needed anyone. His orthotist gave him a tour and he was happy as can be.

I don't know how I will continue to deal with this over the years. He really wants a job but there isn't anything suitable out there for him. He has a long life ahead of him so I really hope we can find something that he can do.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

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