#23-Create a Housing Community for Adults with Disabilities

Desiree Kameka works for the Madison House Autism Foundation where she serves as the director of community engagement and also is the director of a branch for the foundation called the Autism Housing Network. She is the national coordinator for the advocacy group Coalition for Community Choice and she also serves as a host home provider. She joins us to provide insight and action steps to move us forward in securing housing for our loved ones with disabilities. 

#19 & #20: Special Needs Housing: Independent Apartment Community

Independent Apartment Communities are a new(ish) housing model for adults with disabilities. IACs are similar to the traditional apartment model in the freedom of choice that comes with living and maintaining one's apartment with or without roommates. The difference, as the name indicates, is the community piece.

#17 - Special Needs Housing: Host Home / Foster Model

Integrated Life Choices is a premier example of successfully executing the host home model for adults with special needs. One of Shanda McClaren's many roles with the company is to pair adults utilizing this model with a host home. In this episode, Shanda shares with us who is best suited for this model, what guardians do and do not give up when utilizing this housing model, how long placement takes, and how to proceed should this be your housing model of choice.  

#15 & #16 - Special Needs Housing: Group Homes

Group Homes, also referred to as Community Care Facilities, are residential homes within the community housing a number of unrelated individuals who require support. 

LOMAH speaks with Dana Hooper, executive director of Life Services Alternative (LSA) in episode #15 & #16. LSA has 11 (soon to be 12) group homes in the Silicon Valley area of California and is considered to be one of the best examples in the country of the group home concept.

#10 - Dignity

Today's guest, Nicole Feeney, wrote an article which spurred passionate debate. She feels caregivers of individuals with disabilities should put forth extra effort to ensure the dignity of those in our care regardless of the extra effort required.  But is that true? Shouldn't society just be more accepting? Take a listen and assess which side of the debate you fall.

#09 - The Joey Farm: An Adventurous Spin on Planning for the Future

The Arroya Family has dreams of beginning a farm similar to many currently in existence for adults with special needs. In preparation, they put the family belongings in storage and began an epic road trip to visit 25 farms across the country. Amy Arroya shares with us what they are learning and a simple question serving as the compass for their adventure. Learn what the question is and consider asking it to plan a future for your special needs loved one.

#08-Vacation Hacks

In the last episode, Vacation or Relocation?: Special Needs / Disability Travel, you heard three arguments in favor of travel despite the challenges. While the last episode focused on why go, this episode focuses on what to do upon arrival. Kim tosses out a few vacation hacks that have been helpful for her family. Hopefully, they will be beneficial to you, too!

#05-Camp Cabins to Long Term Living Solutions

Alex Krem, Sr. was the founder of Camping Unlimited. This year marks 60 years of providing camping opportunities for children, teens, and adults with special needs. It is now run by his granddaughter, Christina Krem, along with Katie Giampa

Today, we are chatting with the middle generation, Alex Krem, Jr., about the unique objective of Camping Unlimited as well as his vision to carry things over into long term living solutions for adults with special needs. 

#04-The Caregiving, Celebrating Balancing Act

Special needs parents do a lot of caregiving and a lot of advocacy. But, do we do enough celebrating? How do we even know the answer and what happens when the scales are tipping too heavily to one side?

This is where we are headed in Episode #4, BUT just when it seems we have things figured out...a guest will join us to put breaks on the whole thing forcing us to stop and rewind a bit.

#03-Are We Overestimating or Underestimating Our Special Needs Loved One?

Are we expecting too much? Are we expecting too little? Does the team agree on realistic goals? What about your spouse? Is there disagreement over the capabilities of your child?

Episode #3 looks at behavior, education, independence, and comprehension.

When is the tendency to overestimate our special needs loved one and when is the tendency to underestimate? How do we know which voice to follow? 

#02-Special Needs Airplane Travel

At least twice a year, Kim travels across the country via airplane with her special needs daughter. After dozens of flights ranging from nightmarish to dreamy, she has learned a few things.

This episode tosses out 10 tips from the obvious (utilize TSA cares) to the unconventional (choose a seating pattern in an L shape rather than straight across). 

If you are about to board the plane with your special needs loved one, this episode should be part of your travel preparations. 

#01-What is Aging Out?

Many terms circulate in the special needs circle. When Kim's daughter became a teenager, she started to hear grumblings about what was around the corner.

The terms "aging out" and "falling off of the cliff" were used interchangeably. 

  • What do these terms mean?
  • When does it happen?
  • What are parents doing about it?
  • What does it mean for our special needs loved ones?