A man holding a container of fruits in front of a gate

Meet Michael

Michael is 47 years old. He has autism and other intellectual and developmental disabilities. His mom has been his primary caregiver since his dad died of a heart attack two years ago, but she has just been diagnosed with Stage IV cancer. Michael’s mom knows that as her treatments start and her illness progresses, she will no longer be able to care for him. Because Michael has been on the Waiting List for so long, she is worried about what will happen to him. Michael follows a strict routine for bedtime, meals, getting ready in the morning, and going to work – sticking to his routine is very important to him. His mother would like for him to find a group home, preferably close to where they live so he can keep his job as a cashier at the supermarket. New settings make Michael extremely anxious, but she feels the support and experience of a group home will help ease the transition to living on his own, give him opportunities to meet other’s his age, and help him cope with her illness better.

What’s important:

  • Michael enjoys working at the grocery store where he has worked for the last 6 years.
  • He likes to play video games every evening before bed.
  • He enjoys visiting the library and reading books about former presidents of the United States.
  • He would like to travel to visit national monuments in other states outside of the DC area.

Circle of support:

  • Michael’s mother, who he currently lives with and was recently diagnosed with cancer
  • Michael’s boss at the grocery store
  • The librarian, who keeps new books on hold for Michael if she notices that he might enjoy them.
  • Michael also has family who live out-of-state, but they are unable to participate in any of the planning of his care.

Health History:

  • Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Intellectual Disability
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Goals & challenges:

  • Michael thrives when he follows a strict routine. His mother’s terminal illness presents imminent challenges for Michael as his routine will be impacted, which could cause behavioral issues to arise.
  • Michael does not have an interest in meeting other people, but his mother feels that social interaction will help him to be less lonely and ease his transition to a new home.
  • Michael will need support with activities of daily living (ADLs) and instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs) that are currently handled by his mother.
  • Michael is not comfortable using a phone and his mother worries that he would not call for help in case of an emergency.
  • Michael’s mother currently provides transportation whenever Michael needs it, so he will need travel training and support or transportation to access locations in the community without her.
  • Michael will need assistance managing his money and making independent purchases in the community.

How we help:

Michael has been on the DDA’s Waiting List under the priority category of Current Request for the last 7 years. Upon learning of his mother’s illness, Michael’s Coordinator of Community Services (CCS) will assist them in submitting a request to DDA to reassess his priority category as Crisis Resolution. With a priority category of Crisis Resolution, funding for services and supports can be accessed immediately. Once funding becomes available, Michael’s CCS will assist him in developing his Person-Centered Plan (PCP):

  • Michael’s PCP will reflect what’s working for him and what’s not working for him, what services and supports are needed, and will cover a robust look at DDA’s 9 focus areas that make up Michael’s life. In this person-centered planning process, Michael will be able to choose outcomes that help him reach his vision for a good life that directly relate to DDA services requested.
  • Michael’s CCS will give them a list of providers close to his home that offer a community living group home service so that he can choose a provider.
  • Once Michael has identified providers that interest him, his CCS send out referrals to these providers and coordinate visits. It may be possible for Michael to participate in a trial period once he identifies a group home that he would like to consider so he can get to know his potential roommates.
  • Michael’s CCS will also request employment services to help him maintain his current job and assist him with travel training. His CCS can also request support with transportation.
  • Because of his mother’s situation, Michael’s CCS can support him in determining a surrogate decision maker or healthcare agent to help him with decisions relating to his care and services.
  • Once Michael’s PCP has developed, his CCS will submit it to DDA for approval.
  • After his PCP is approved, Michael’s CCS will help him complete and submit the DDA’s Waiver application.
  • Once Michael’s Waiver application is approved, the provider he selected will be given a start date for services by the DDA.
  • After Michael’s services start, his CCS will continue to monitor his services and circumstances on a quarterly basis along with his progress towards his outcomes.

Learn more about our Coordination of Community Services program here.