By Jacquelyn Altman Marquette.
Jackie Marquette, Transition Consultant for families of adults with disabilities, has published Independence Bound, about the transition to adulthood of her son Trent. She shares the insights and strategies that helped her through the fears and crises of the transition process moving into a good new life of quality and independence.
Independence is defined as “the control people with disabilities have over their own lives” and Ed Roberts is quoted that “independence should not be measured by the tasks one performs without assistance but by the quality of one’s life with adequate support” (xix). These are some of the myths that may deter and delay parent and family efforts to support their young adults to live with independence (p.68):
Independence Bound also offers professionals and policymakers insights into the supports that individual and families need during the transition to adulthood as well as evidence that adults with autism can live good independent lives in the community as long as supports are in place.
An outline of the book’s contents
helps us see its scope and potential value:
Part 2: Expect to Grieve, with sections on: mourning the old life; shock; losing trust; denial at a cost – a family falling apart; the lesion – letting go of a clouded vision; adult day care – is it appropriate or just functional; the lesson – moving forward with fear; creating a safe temporary place within; the transition phase; denial and protection; Trent resists the winds of change; Trent surrenders to his grief; Trent’s work experiences; Trent is accepted.
Part 3: Designing an Independent Living Arrangement, with sections on: security, a false sense of security; try believing in this; start today; help people help you; how to ask for what you want; stay motivated; try the exercise; take mini steps toward your goal; Jackie’s personal goal; strategies for coping with the blues; helping Trent stay self-determined; educating the community.
Part 4: Trent’s Message, with sections on: how you can help me; ways you can talk with me; meeting new people; recreation; exercising at the YMCA; going to the library; going to the zoo; gardening; cooking; laundry; how to introduce me to the new environment and to help me to adapt to a new situation; teach me to attend to you when you speak to me; help me to understand my feelings; changing my routine; help me to handle changes in my work environment; waiting is sometimes difficult for me; interventions that help me build my self-determined behavior; waking in the morning; challenging the obsession with my clothes; my TV shows; my vocalizations; getting frustrated; help me understand your intention; speaking harshly or vague; encourage me; a problem solving chart; what I learned to do about anger; angry feeling checklist; ways I learned how to work through my anger; thinking good thoughts; checklist for evaluating my environment; I need your patience; without words.
The author offers many examples, self-evaluation questions and checklists to help other families. For more information, with excerpts and a photo album, visit: http://www.independencebound.com
"I found the book, Independence Bound,
fascinating and would indeed recommend it to any person interested in knowing
about the coping skills of any individual (with family) who struggles to
find his or her independence, in the face of such a wide spectrum disability,
as autism surely is. I believe it can provide guidance, encouragement and
hope-- for the parents, siblings, friends, support workers, and professionals
who maintain a relationship with any adult having autism. I would also
like to say about the author, Jacquelyn Altman Marquette, that her writing
style is very refreshing and down to earth. You can assume by her writing
that she truly does want to teach others by her example and to give hope
to the hopeless. The simplicity of this valuable teaching tool will indeed
attract many a interested reader, and I believe, cause change to happen
in many lives."