March 5th, 2018
Kim was only diagnosed on the Autism Spectrum disorder as an adult. By the time she was referred for Supported Living services with Renaissance, she felt that life had really gotten on top of her. She says, “I was about as low as I could go. I would use the word ‘despair’ to describe myself.”
Kim is a single mum, and her daughter is her pride and joy. They share a house with Kim’s parents, though they each have their own private areas. She didn’t feel she was coping well with managing her needs, her daughter’s needs and her household responsibilities. She says one of the biggest concerns was the stress this was creating for everyone. Changing this situation was a priority for her.
Kim has worked hard and is feeling much more confident in her abilities to manage all their needs with support in place. Her daughter told her, “Mum, I’m so proud of you.”
It is still Kim’s goal to move the two of them out some day, but she says in the meantime she no longer feels vulnerable and insecure that she’s likely to need to go at any minute, because it’s not working.
Kim appreciates that her Supported Living Facilitator fits in well and gets on with everyone in the family. Kim believes that the support they receive from her and the confidence they have in the service has taken some of the pressure off of them all.
In addition to her disability, Kim has been dealing with some serious health issues and diagnoses have been a long time coming. “Supported Living has helped me to have the confidence to speak up for myself and push through. I feel I can face appointments even if they create huge anxiety, because I know I can have my Supported Living Facilitator there to work with me.” There is still much to be done in dealing with her health issues, but Kim says just having made this progress and having the diagnoses are huge steps. Kim really likes having Renaissance support through this process. She says it gives her the support she needs with the freedom to make her own decisions.
When Kim looks back at her first year with Renaissance she says she used to let so many things stop her, including everyone else’s opinions. Now she doesn’t look to others for validation and feels more productive and in control. Having had support for this journey, she also feels more confident to support her daughter on her own journey with a disability.
Kim is aware of the huge increase in confidence that has come through having the proper supports in place. She has moved from despair to determined and says,
“I’m really taking control of my life.”
“It’s my life and not on anyone else to decide how to make it succeed or fail.”