Charlene has been struggling with taking care of and advocating for her son Eric; he has autism and needs daily help with his personal care such as eating, bathing and dressing.
In 2009, when Eric was still in high school, Charlene became aware of and applied to OCES’ AFC program. Through the AFC program, she received a tax-free stipend for the care she was providing her son. The AFC Program Team went right to work offering support, advice and emotional solutions regarding the care of her son.
For instance, Charlene and her husband found it challenging to work with school officials to develop a special program to meet their son’s needs. “OCES’ AFC workers offered to attend school meetings with me and nicely asked the right questions and requested appropriate accommodations for Eric,” noted Charlene. “They gave me their presence, time, insight and did much of the leg work.”
“Simply put, the OCES Adult Family Care program has been a life preserver for Eric and our entire family,” summarized Charlene.
Eric has now graduated from high school, is active in a day program and works part-time in a local high school kitchen. He is a shy young man, but is demonstrative with his OCES AFC workers. “Eric doesn’t chat with people,” noted his mom. “But the staff at OCES really brings him out of his shell. When they visit, he often shares his passions of wrestling and sports cars with them.”
Charlene is optimistic for the future. “As Eric’s situation continues to evolve, OCES has been right alongside of us to help navigate us through the healthcare system and resources available.”
To learn more about OCES’ programs and services available, visit our website at ocesma.org or call (508) 584-1561.