Thursday, June 18, 2009

10th Annual
Pig Roast

Folk Dance

Community Homestead

Community Homestead is a non-profit organization living and working with people with special needs.

Saturday, June 27
501 280th St.
Osceola, WI

Tickets: $12 for adults, $6 Children 6-12 years, FREE for 5 years and under.

Organic food - Live music - Raffle
Horse and Carriage Rides - Vegetarian alternative, buffet served between 5-7pm.
Children's activities.

Kurt works in the garden all summer at Community Homestead. He has made many friends there and enjoys his job.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

The Next Step

I dropped the paperwork off last Wednesday so Kurt could begin attending the day services program at BRIDGE for Youth with Disabilities. The packet of paperwork was about an inch thick. Most of the questionnaire had to do with Kurt’s abilities, likes and dislikes. For example, I put pizza at the top of his favorite foods list. Some of my answers would be used to develop goals for Kurt, so he could make progress on social skills or telling time, for example.

We let Laurie go last week. She had been Kurt’s aide for four years, since I began working. Kurt was home with her three days a week and spent his other two days working at Community Homestead (CH). Laurie used to go to CH with him, but recently decided not to do that anymore. Her decision was the catalyst for change. Now was the time to help Kurt be less dependent on one person and more active in the community.

For the summer, Kurt’s younger brother, Kelly, will be helping Kurt and driving him to his activities. He’ll be working at Community Homestead three days a week and going twice a week to Bridge. This will give him more time with friends and allow him to be more active.

In six months or so, Kurt will go to CH four days a week, and then five some time next year. Eventually, when Kurt is ready, and CH has an opening, my son will leave home.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Water Balloons Among Friends

With red squirt gun in hand, Kurt sprayed water down the pine tree's trunk. He would sometimes dig out old toys, as he did now, while we camped. He easily entertained himself with collecting kindling, tending a fire once his dad got it going, and playing with small construction vehicles. Although he is twenty, developmentally his skills ranged from five to teen.

That made it hard for Kurt to socialize. We found some activities where he could join in with peers: challenger baseball, therapeutic horseback riding and his twice weekly work at Community Homestead.

While sixteen-year-old Kelly usually brought a friend or two on camping trips (this time, two), Kurt didn't have someone to bring.

Meanwhile, I found a bag of water balloons and set them on the table outside. Maybe the boys will use them.

Kelly and his guests sauntered across the grass to our campsite after their swim. They threw their towels over the clothesline, and plopped down in chairs. Thomas saw the balloons.

“Oh!” He grabbed them and ran to the water faucet.

Pretty soon, all three teens were having a water balloon fight, with round wet spots appearing on their t-shirts. Kurt joined in with his squirt gun, laughing and running along with them.

Kelly and his friends decided to fill several balloons and sneak up on some girls they knew. They invited Kurt. Off they went.

I smiled, grateful they had included Kurt.

When they came back, Kelly said, “Kurt giggled and covered his mouth the whole time we were sneaking up.” He smiled. “And then he squirted me!”

Kurt laughed.

For me, this was the highlight of the weekend.

Kurt at 19