On April 26th, The Arc Arapahoe & Douglas Counties in collaboration with Developmental Pathways packed a full house of parents interested in learning more about the SLS waiver and what it means for their son or daughter’s future. The Arc AD’s Executive Director Carol Meredith started the session by greeting the audience and providing an orientation to Person Centered Thinking and Planning.
While the tone was casual; the message was urgent – parents were encouraged to be “good consumers” and “educated advocates” for their child so they may take full advantage of the resources that will soon be available to enrich their lives. We were excited to help the community we serve and due to overwhelming response, the presentation repeated on May 31st to accommodate those who were unable to attend the first time.
Our main goal is to help parents understand the services available to them and how they can obtain them. We want you to know that during the process of planning for the future of your son or daughter’s life, you must keep in mind that progress is not always perfect – but it’s a start in the right direction. There’s room to alter the SLS prototype you create until it makes sense for your loved one.
If you missed our lunch and learn presentations; or if you would like a recap of the topics discussed and access to handouts provided, please visit the “Resources” section on our website. We’ve created a special category entitled “SLS Waiver Documents” which contains literature that will guide you through the process and answer frequently asked questions.
You are not alone in your quest for information – please feel free to contact us at any time, refer to the website for information, and remember these three things along the way:
1. Focus on quality of life –When creating a Person Centered Plan for your son or daughter, reflect on what makes them happy and what makes them anxious. No one knows your child like you do, so it’s important when picking providers and considering environments, they complement your child’s strengths and needs. When you go into a service planning meeting be sure to choose options that will enhance your son or daughter’s quality of life. Spend time contemplating past events and interactions ahead of time to facilitate meetings with your case manager.
2. Be a good consumer –We encourage you to ask questions, be choosy, and explore your options. Unlike the school systems, the adult service system is flexible. There are many different service providers in the Arapahoe & Douglas County area so your choices are not limited. You are consumers in this process and you have more control over what supports look like for your son or daughter. It is however important to keep in mind, the SLS waiver is not intended to cover your loved one’s complete need for support. You will have a budget to work with, so prioritizing is essential.
3. Be patient with yourself– Progress and perfection both start with a “P” but they mean entirely different things. Please be patient with your family’s progress while you are planning for the needs of your son or daughter’s life. If you try a provider that doesn’t work, it’s okay to change your mind and consult with others until you find the right fit. It may help to reach out to other parents and discuss what did/didn’t work for them. You may think you’ve created a solid plan only to find that all of the pieces in the puzzle don’t fit together as you intended. We want you to know that you have the option for a “do over” which may take time; but you are not stuck with the first decision you make.
Advocates in the community have worked hard to ensure that legislators were aware of the need for the resources the SLS waiver provides. Now that they are available, let’s make sure they are utilized and appropriately allocated to our loved ones.