Parenting Adult Special Needs
My goal has been to paint a picture in prose for parents of adult special needs to view as useful model for their journey. Each state has its own confusing process, each adult child their own set of challenges and abilities, each parental body, their unique gifts and opportunities. Some folks do not need government funding. Others have children who do not readily qualify for government funding, yet clearly are ill-equiped to live on their own. Whatever the composition of your child’s patchwork quilt of adult special needs living, perhaps this blog can be of help. Fingers crossed all our special children will arrive at a place of safety and fulfillment in adulthood. That is the wish; that is the work.
This Crazy Quilt: Parenting Adult Special Needs One Day At A Time
By Jill Edelman, M.S.W., L.C.S.W.
This Crazy Quilt: Parenting Adult Special Needs One Day At A Time is a collection of daily blog posts chronicling our family’s process as our special needs daughter turned 21 and “aged out” of her school system. It’s all here: our steps, missteps, failings, successes, emotional highs and lows, bureaucratic bumblings and staff saves.
The series of posts that became this book were an outgrowth of my professional blogging as a couples psychotherapist as well as a serendipitous confluence of conversations with friends and colleagues. One friend proffered, “This is a story that nobody is telling.” As the speaker was herself a journalist the comment gave me some pause.
My hope is that by extending my hand to you and guiding you through the pages of our family’s journey, you will feel less alone; that perhaps something in the pattern of our footsteps will offer guidance in your family’s quest to find a safe and satisfying adulthood for your special needs child.
The book includes illustrations by our daughter and an extensive list of post-secondary and other resources for parents of special needs children.
"Jill’s attentive approach and warmth set me at ease within moments in our first session. Her regard for my emotions and her heightened listening skills gave rise to trust between us that allowed me to grow exponentially. I cannot express my gratitude enough to Jill for the work we’ve done together."
Jill helped me tremendously over a 20 year period. She is perceptive, smart, articulate, humorous and as another reviewer put it, “she hits the nail on the head” with many issues. I was in a very difficult marriage when I began seeing Jill, and she got me through the remainder of my marriage, and years later a very lengthy, difficult divorce. I credit her with that and will always be grateful. Through the process, Jill helped me understand my family background and some of the reasons I had the issues I had and have. Jill is a very caring person and her guidance and help were thoughtful in all ways.
"Jill was able to compassionately, yet purposefully, unearth the root issues that had left our marriage of twenty-five years in a tenuous place; helping each of us to better understand and take ownership of our unique contributions to the state of our relationship. After lots of hard work, patience, and, with Jill’s help – a newfound empathy for each other, our sessions with Jill fostered an ease of communication and understanding that was very difficult for us to elicit before meeting her. I am pleased to report that now - thirty-five years in - our marriage is stronger than ever. The profoundness of Jill’s impact on our lives cannot be overstated."
“I have referenced your blog to others many times. You do really and truly get it! There is something about reading the journey taken by someone else to make our own journey easier and to view the sometimes difficult experiences with another’s understanding perspective.”
NN Riverview School parent
"Ms. Edelman is an extremely insightful, caring, compassionate therapist who is able to quickly get to the core of an issue. She has helped me as an individual for many years as well as as part of a couple. In fact, I do not believe that I would have been able to find love without her help. You could not ask for a better professional to help you with any issue. I highly recommend her to all."
"I have known Jill professionally for over 20 years. She is an absolutely fantastic therapist, that cares deeply for her patients, is easily accessible and always has solid advice and recommendations. She has helped me personally as well as in my marriage, work thru issues as they have arisen over the years. I owe her a great deal of credit for the person I have become today. I consider her a part of my extended family, she has been that important in my life. My wife and I regularly say to each other "thank you Jill".