The reason I put this page together for RJ is so that he could share his unique sand art, and learn from the experience. It will hopefully be a pathway for him to learn about responsibilities he will need as he transitions into adulthood and away from home.
RJ’s plan is to get a job and live in a 4-bedroom house with ceiling fans. Great!!! I’m happy for him that he has a goal in mind. But, unfortunately, he does not realize what that all entails. Therefore, creating his sand art and hopefully being able to sell it will help him grasp what a harsh world he’s heading into.
While I have faith in RJ’s abilities, employers in the traditional workplace may not. Individuals that have occasional meltdowns wouldn’t fair too well in a public place such as a store. Too many buzzers, bells, distractions of talking to people, etc. Employment in a factory is pretty much out – too much noise. Working in an insolated environment would be oppressive for him. Hmmm, what to do for him? He will definitely need some kind of income to supplement his Social Security from his dad’s passing.
When in doubt, look inward. RJ’s a natural born salesman. He will warm your heart with his loving demeanor. His pride of his work is contagious. Doing his sand art is relatively safe for him. No sounds to frighten him or cause his super-sensitive ears pain. No other major hazards. No dress code for working at home. He’ll still have the opportunity to meet and talk with people. The answer to the dilemma lies within RJ himself.
So, utilizing his skills in creating sand art seems to be a pretty good fit. With each and every piece he creates, he is mastering fine motor skills. His concentration grows, his attention span grows, and he is gaining the self-esteem for his overall health. Feeling good about yourself, disabled or not, is essential for survival.
I honestly don’t feel that RJ will have large financial gain from his sand art. My hopes and prayers are that he will at least be able to supplement the Social Security enough so that he may enjoy the things he loves to do. Bowling, summer camp at Easter Seals, mini-golf, eating out with friends. Things I can no longer afford to give him, even while he is still living with me. Drastic changes in the health care system and the economy itself have made sure of that. The financial noose around our necks as a family tightens more and more each year. At times, it feels like more and more each day.
For the reasons above, I am utilizing RJ’s love of creating jars of pretty-colored sand into something a little more than just fun at home with Mom. I guess you could call it one of his hobbies. I am calling it his “business” in order to help him comprehend responsibilities to gain a little self-sufficiency. He is catching on quickly. As of this writing, he has been able to replace his beloved ear-buds. The look of total success was all over his face when I told him he could afford a pair.
Thank you for joining us on our journey and transition. I truly hope you enjoy RJ’s art as much as he does creating it for you. I also hope you enjoy it enough to purchase an item or two to help him gain a little financial independence.
Best wishes that all is well in your world.