A Journey to Independence
My daughter is a 27-year-old adult with developmental disabilities. In 2013, she graduated from her transition program and immediately announced that she wanted to move out on her own. This news was both exciting and terrifying. As a parent, your goal is to raise your children to be independent people, but as a parent of an adult with special needs, you wonder how this is possibly going to work.
In our case, our daughter was able to move out within a month of her graduation with the support of an independent living services organization. She moved into a townhouse with two other women with special needs and to my amazement, things went very well. I was told to expect that, at first, she would likely want to stay with me a couple days each week, but that never happened because she was very content with her new living arrangements. All was going well, until the landlord decided to sell the townhouse.
Just six months after finding a living arrangement she really liked, my daughter had to move to an apartment with another woman with special needs. This started a series of bad living situations for her, including roommates who took advantage of her and led her into making bad choices. This culminated several years later with a mentally ill roommate who constantly verbally abused her.
After all those experiences, she decided she was done with roommates and wanted to live on her own. Most of us would probably feel the same, but now we had a new hurdle to leap. As you can imagine, it is not easy to live on your own on a fixed income, but eventually we found a small low-income apartment in the city that is only available to seniors and the disabled. While it’s not a great neighborhood and it is quite far from all her friends and family in Poway, we haven’t had to deal with all the drama caused by her roommates.
I am incredibly proud of her resilience through all of this turmoil, but my hope is that we can eventually find a stable and supportive place for her to call home while giving her the independence that she so desires and so deserves. And it is my belief that Villa de Vida will be such a place – an affordable place where people like my daughter can live independently and the family members that love them can rest assured that they will have support when they need it.
San Diego, CA