The most exciting time for a family is the birth of a child. But, imagine if by age three you realize your child will not be attending school with all the other kids. But luckily, there are services and support out there to help you in your time of need. But then, by age nine, you realize that your child may never be able to function in the world without your help. But, like everyone else, you drop your kids at school, go to work, and hope the system is providing your child with some of the skills they need to survive.
Fast forward to age 22. Most kids are finishing college or off working, living their lives independently. But, for the adult with developmental disabilities at age 22, not only is this not the case, but they no longer have a school to go to or a support system outside the home, and they lack the skills they need to be considered a contributing member of their community. So, who picks up the pieces? Who does the responsibility fall on? Mom and Dad. And, if Mom and Dad aren't there, then who?
So, fast forward 20 more years. Mom and Dad are in the golden years. Most of their friends are enjoying retirement. But, for them, time stands still. Their child with disabilities is now in their 40's, has gained only some additional life skills, and is not fully capable of managing life on their own. Most retirees are facing the fear of not having enough money to enjoy life the way they have become accustomed to. For the parent of an adult with disabilities, the fear becomes "what will happen to my child when I can no longer provide the support they need?"
In Florida, the options are currently limited. But, The Mariposa Foundation is working on a solution. Mariposa Village will be a community where persons with and without disabilities can not only receive the support they need, but also have access to educational, vocational, and recreational opportunities that elsewhere would be unattainable. Please join us in creating an example of the good old fashioned small town America, where all of its members have purpose and are valued as contributing citizens of their community.