Well she turns 17 in a couple of weeks. I can't believe it. I remember being 17 and my life was so much different than hers. My life wasn't perfect and I wasn't exactly a "good kid" (was going through a lot and probably had full blown PTSD by that point), but I had more freedom and was more responsible. It's not that she can't - she just won't. We've tried and tried to get her out there and get a job, to have friends, to DO things, but she seems perfectly comfortable where she's at - which is home, with us, all the time. Not content. Not by a long shot. But comfortable. Comfortable enough where she's not willing to make the effort required to change things.
This doesn't make us feel overly confident for when she turns 18. Will she be ready to live on her own? I think the answer to that is a resounding NO. There are certain aspects of her life, such as diabetes management, where I know she'll do fine. It may take a while for her to get into the swing of it, but I know that she knows what to do. It's the other things... getting a job, paying bills, continuing her education - all the "adult" things that she has no clue or desire for.
Enter Job Corps. We hope. We've started the process to get her in there. We don't qualify under their income requirements, but they make exceptions for people with disabilities - I'm hoping between the type-1 diabetes, the erbs palsy in her left arm, and her emotional issues that she will qualify. We just aren't sure yet. I'm hoping her DTC will be able to assist with getting her in as well. They should - they've done it for other children and if anybody should be able to weasel her in it would be social workers and counselors.
Not only would this move her out of her comfort zone, but it would give her the life skills that we've been trying to foster in her. Of course, as parents, nothing we say or do makes any difference - we're the bad guys. So hopefully when it comes from somebody else it will make a difference? I think it will. She'll be forced to be responsible for herself and that's what she needs.
The beauty of it is they have a Culinary Arts program - which she is really excited about. Did I say "excited"? I guess I should say "interested in a nonplussed kind of way" since she rarely gets "excited" about anything. I think I'm more excited about this than she is. But she has a friend from her DTC that is there so at least she'll know somebody (assuming they end up in the same place).
Who knows... either way, it'll be an adventure she will carry around with her for the rest of her life.. with any luck it will be a positive, life changing adventure...