I write this, in hopes that the feeling of being emotionally drained will dissipate. I attended a meeting coordinated through North Carolina's Department of Health and Human Services. The meeting's purpose was to listen to feedback from parents, caregivers, providers and consumers about the Innovations Waiver and other services through IDD Services (Intellectual and Developmental Delays) and Mental Health. The Innovations Waiver is a program designed to help parents keep their IDD or mentally ill child at home and out of an institution. Ben has been part of this program for about 4 years. With state and county money, he receives managed care in the form of direct service providers that help with personal care and skill-building activities in the home and community. There is a long wait list to become part of the program, typically taking years to get the services. Reluctantly, I went to the meeting with the only incentive being that my long time friend, Karen, would be ther
These stories describe our journey with Ben, our oldest son. Ben is a sweet and energetic redhead, born with a rare genetic mutation. My husband, Ryan, and I try to keep up with Ben and his two younger brothers. I intend to shed insight into raising a child with disabilities and pass on the wisdom we’ve earned over the past two decades.