Meet Robert Thomas!
Before I became the parent of children with disabilities, I trained and worked as a Special Education Teacher and Special Program Administrator.

 

I was also a state licensed foster home for several years and cared for almost 20 teenagers at various times until I adopted 2 sons.

 

My younger son has received waiver services since he was 18 years old—some 25 years now.

 

Until we moved to our current location, I had never worked as his staff and was never interested in taking on that role. Unfortunately, after many tries and many failures where we live now, the agency and I agreed that, in order to provide the consistent and reliable supervision and help that my son needed back then, I would have to give up my “outside” job and take over his staffing. I have been working as his staff for 10 years now.

 

I was afraid then that my son having his father as staff would foster his dependence and hinder his development. In actuality, that move turned out to be fortuitous in that it allowed my son to have a staff that could and would be there when he needed staff but a staff that could go off the clock and leave him alone when he could function and wanted to function independently. As an example, if I am working with my son and he gets a call to go to a movie with a reliable friend, I can clock out as staff and clock back in when he gets home allowing him to go to the movie without staff. With the traditional model, I would have to go with him to the movie.  That means he would probably choose not to go!

 

He would never have made the gains he has made in the past 10 years if he had been locked into that traditional model of staff on certain days at certain hours, rain or shine.

 

Being able to change hats from parent to staff and back again on different days or at different times of the same day has allowed my son to have a program developed for him that revolves around him and meets his needs.

 

Thankfully, mostly, Bost is client oriented and able to see rules sometimes as obstacles to client development that must be overcome in some acceptable fashion. We bump heads at other times!

 

 

Robert’s supervisor said that he is a great employee who wants nothing but the best for his son/client.

 

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