Every year at this time we have 2 annual meetings with Aaron’s case manager and others involved in his day services. We have to go over all his info to see if things have changed, if he’s happy where he is, etc. We are very appreciative of the awesome professionals that we have around us that manage Aaron’s care. They really seem to be genuinely interested in what’s best for him, not in what the state may suggest or want. We’ve been very blessed and so far things have worked out beautifully for Aaron.
We met for lunch at Applebees today to go over Aaron’s Person Centered Support Plan. I met a new assistant from Paradigm, Barb, and she was so kind. I asked her how Paradigm manages to get such awesome, caring staff and she told me that it starts at the top. The woman who manages Paradigm is very loving and empathetic, and makes sure that she staff she hires is the same. What a difference it makes! And Aaron’s case manager, Carissa, is also very caring. She doesn’t want to push state directives on us but makes sure that she can do whatever possible to keep us in the good situation that we’re in now.
Aaron asked over and over if he was going to have to leave Paradigm. That’s his biggest fear. He’s even had dreams about that! Poor guy! It must be hard to have others making decisions about your life and wonder if you’ll be made to leave the place that you love. We kept assuring him that he was staying there but he kept asking anyway.
He surprised me and got chicken strips instead of the super, duper biggest bacon cheeseburger that he could find – like he usually does. But first he had to make sure that the chicken was boneless, and that he could have onion rings instead of fries. Being assured of a yes to both of those questions, he happily ordered. The cook forgot to make the onion rings so Aaron got the original fries that came with the chicken, and then a few minutes later got the onion rings as well. Wow!! He ate them both, of course, and even wanted to finish my salad when I was slow in eating it. He actually slid my plate over in front of him when I wasn’t looking! And I slid it right back where it belonged!
While we finished our meeting, signing forms and discussing issues, Aaron was becoming antsy and anxious to leave. He was reading the menus and advertisements on the table, and then excitedly said, “Mom, they have Women Tacos!! What are Women Tacos?!” What? Women Tacos?! So I asked him to show me and he pointed to the menu. WONTON Tacos! So glad we cleared that up!!