Lilly’s Countdown to Community Living

Canva-Freedom-Chasing-LillyHi Friends,

Lilly has a court hearing this week, and after the hearing she will be released into the community. Sounds scary if you’ve read her story. (And it is scary!)

She will have 24/7 staffing and be in a house with a few other disabled tenants. The things that swirl through my mind are about how she will get along with her staff and fellow house people. And the neighbors -yikes, let’s not forget the neighbors. And will she stay put?

Lilly has a lot of apprehension about this because she previously hasn’t been able “to succeed in the community,” as DD guidelines call it.  The rule book words it as “the least restrictive environment.”

The “least restrictive environment” wording has changed so much in the lives of many Developmentally Disabled people. Some changes are for the good. Others are awful. I feel that one important word is missing, and that is the word SAFE. The guidelines should say, “least restrictive SAFE environment.”

Lilly has been anything but safe in her community placements up to now, and that’s why we all have misgivings going into this weekend. I am hopeful and talking positively with her, but nervous inside. If you have a DD son or daughter, you know exactly what I’m talking about.

Prayers appreciated, Nealie