A little protective

K3 and me

This is my youngest daughter. She's just had a birthday and is now 18. She also has a developmental disability and is now legally an adult. She functions at a much younger age in terms of her interests and social skills. In many areas, she is simply not aware of messages in her environment or what dangers may be present. For this reason, I consider it highly unlikely that she would ever be able to drive. However, I do think she has a number of capabilities that may play in her favor in terms of employment, like her photographic memory.

I've actively avoided discussing her on my blog because she wasn't an adult and my other children are. I also find it difficult to describe her. Not because people wouldn't understand, it just takes more than a few sentences! It's not like having a child with a defined diagnosis, like Down's Syndrome. She's been diagnosed as being mentally retarded (not true in the classic sense) as well as having Pervasive Developmental Disorder (probably true) and a few other terms. At this stage in her life, I'd probably describe her as being on the high functioning end of the Autism spectrum. Mostly, I would just describe her as unique!

While she inspired me to eventually pursue a career in the disability field, she presents a dilemma for TOG and I on how best to help her. As a child, we've always been able to make decisions on her behalf. Now that she's an adult, we can no longer act on her behalf unless we petition the court for continued custody. While this sounds like a no brainer, to do so would have two outcomes... the first being that it would protect her in that she couldn't enter into a contract without our consent and we'd still have authority in situations where we could act in her best interests. Unfortunately, it would repeal every other right as an adult, such as the right to vote or make any significant decision independent of her father and I.

Thus I'm torn. I don't think you should lightly strip anyone's rights away. However, I desperately want to protect my daughter while she learns to navigate the adult world. I wish there were easy answers.

Asthmagirl out