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Guest Blog: Planning for the Future

The day to day world of parenting a child with special needs can be challenging. It can be filled with appointments and meetings and sometimes a crisis of some sort. We’re forever doing research (Much easier now with the internet) trying to find new doctors, support groups, educational opportunities, etc. One thing, in my experience, […]

The day to day world of parenting a child with special needs can be challenging. It can be filled with appointments and meetings and sometimes a crisis of some sort. We’re forever doing research (Much easier now with the internet) trying to find new doctors, support groups, educational opportunities, etc.

One thing, in my experience, that is overlooked in the stresses of everyday life is planning for the future. Often, people assume that because inclusion is promoted so well in public education (Not so much in private schools) that it will continue after graduation. I am sorry to say that is more often than not the outcome. Your child’s peers will go on with their lives, as they should, to higher education, job training, armed forces or whatever options they might have chosen for themselves. Most, if not all, of these options, are not available to people with disabilities.

Most people I speak with are genuinely shocked and frightened by the future when they realize the lack of opportunity at this stage of their child’s life. I know I was. There are a handful of colleges that will accept people with a disability. Jobs are extremely hard to come by and transportation is its own separate dilemma.

According to the ADA statistics, 85% of adults with developmental disabilities are unemployed.

At Dutton Farm, we believe that everyone has something to offer the community and we firmly believe that we all should have choices for our life. We are working diligently to give options to adults with developmental disabilities in our adult education, community involvement, and workforce development. Planning for the adult years should not be so difficult. Join us in working towards equality for people with disabilities.

Originally posted November 22, 2019

About Michele Smither:

Dutton Farm is a non-profit organization in Oakland County that serves individuals with mental, physical, and emotional impairments. Staff are friends (no really) and work is meaningful. Our purpose is to positively impact the lives of our participants through partnership, dignity, and contentment. We provide an array of activities that foster self-belief and satisfaction. Our Community Integration Program and our Dutton Farm Market offer employment opportunities to people of all abilities. Here on the farm, we believe in the endless potential and worth of every human being and their ability to lead productive and fulfilling lives.
Read more by Michele Smither

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