joomla counter

Kristen headshot

Kristen is a home­maker, home­schooler, and a home­keeper. Her experience includes nineteen years of practice, raising three kids, a husband, and a dog. Writing about her life helps her stay sane. She believes that sharing stories helps others by providing opportunities to share advice (and helpful hints) about homeschooling, and raising kids on the autism spectrum, while supporting marriages and families that are striving to thrive.

We're All a Little Mad Here



My Tom-Tom has returned, once again, from time spent at Woodrow Wilson Workforce. He has been there since January, and was supposed to be there until October. He, however, decided to be a rock star and finish his training program three months ahead of schedule, with good grades and glowing reviews, to boot!!! Who knew?! Uh-mazing!




So, apparently, the training is self-paced. Apparently, also, Tommy does well with computers and data entry. I kind of thought he would do well with that, and he proved me correct. He texted mid-June that he was going to be done in July.

“What do you mean, done?!?” I exclaimed, “is everything OK?”

I was slightly panicked as I tend to think the worst in every situation, and I was worried he was failing, or something. The “something” being I-don’t-even-know-what. I was like, “Face-time me right now!!!” He assured me that everything was fine and that he was just working so well, and ahead of schedule. I still emailed his guidance counselor the next day to verify that the “or something” wasn’t happening. It wasn’t. He really was ahead of schedule and doing great. How about that?!

His training certificate says that he is proficient in handling business and information technology. He did an internship in the media center on campus, too. The evaluations from his teachers, counselors, and coaches say he is ready for job placement.

I can not say enough good things about Wilson Workforce and Rehabilitation Center! The transitions between trainings and life skills groups have been seamless. The communication with Tommy’s case manager from here has been excellent. Next up is our meeting with his case manager to determine what is going to happen after he goes back for his driver training in October. Tommy has expressed interest in maybe taking a few college classes, and getting a job in an area of interest for him. He understands that he can’t be a Jedi, but he hasn’t ruled out a job in forensic archaeology (think Indiana Jones). We shall see.




I’ve got to say that two years ago I was just not able to visualize this point in time. I couldn’t fathom Tommy living on his own, or being able to complete training for a job. Granted, he was in a very structured living and training environment, but he did do it without me nagging, coaching, instructing, and nagging some more. I keep saying that not-mom is sometimes the motivation that certain kids need to have things ‘come together’ for them. Several things (grooming, cleaning, organizing, focusing) have to synthesize in able for kids like Tommy to get a boost in maturity to be able to handle a college or job environment. That, and a lot of prayer. Wilson Workforce has been our answer to prayer.




Of course I’ll be posting more Tommy updates as our situation unfolds. For right now, we are happy to have him home. We are continuing to work on life skills (that grooming thing!). We still are needing to encourage Tommy to reach out to some of his friends. Refereeing TV time and chore rotations has become a daily occurrence (funny how odd numbers stimulate the fighting and sibling rivalry gene), since fifteen minutes after he arrived home a few weeks ago. Sigh. Also, though, it’s been great to see him be able to relate with us, and to be excited about seeing some people. I love having my brood under one roof, too. It does seem like the volume has been turned up at my house, though. I’m not having silent coffee time in the morning anymore. Tommy always has something to convey first thing in the morning. I’ve been reminding him that I’m not so nice until I’ve had that first cup... just keeping things real.




Keep calm, and love having your kids home, because you’ll blink a few times and they’ll be twenty years old. Parent on!

User Rating: 5 / 5

Star ActiveStar ActiveStar ActiveStar ActiveStar Active

Pouches' Community Corner

Cooking Autism

Cooking Autism, Inc. is driven to help children with neurological disorders (including autism) learn how to cook. Participants are encouraged to pick up critical communication skills, learn how to work as a team and be more independent. They can build skills in math, reading, and science, and learn about cooking-related topics such as health and nutrition.