Thursday, November 02, 2006

A worthy read

A dear blogging friend and I have been exchanging e-mails of late commiserating about the challenge that our adult children are having at finding employment, college entrance, or any attempt at a second chance. It seems in our ligative society, employers are not willing to take a risk at giving an employee a second chance to become a wholly functioning human being. When we stop being willing to balance the potential of liability with the gift of compassion, we must ask ourselves: has society stopped offering the opportunity to enhance the lives of those who are courageously trying to make their way through life in spite of challenge, addiction, or youthful mistakes? I know this is a complicated issue; I, of course, bring the perspective of a parent to the topic, not an employer. Still, I am also someone who was, long ago, given a second chance and have spent my life walking in that redemption.

While having coffee and reading my local paper this morning, I read with astonishment this very articulate article. Written by Ann Bauer of St. Louis Park, Minnesota and published in The Washington Post, Willing and able, but treated as unemployable, is a compelling article that stirred my moral indignation! Please click on it and read each and every word. While her son's disability may not be my son's disability, the ramifications are the same. As blessed as our culture remains, do we not have a moral obligation to provide employment opportunities for all who are willing and able?

I have erased (several times) most of what I could say on this subject--it is a very personal topic in my home and heart. My only real agenda today is to spread the word about Ms. Bauer's great article. If you have a child who struggles to live independently, you will appreciate reading this first-hand perspective. If you do not have a child who struggles, you will gain an understanding for those who do. If you know of someone who struggles with this issue, please spread the word. While this article is specific to Autism, there are millions of others who suffer from countless other barriers to successful employment and/or achievement. It is worth the few moments you will spend; for the cost of awareness is never higher than the price these young lives are already paying.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...
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kailani said...

My kids are still very young so I think I'd like them to hang around for a while more. *wink*

I will go check out that article for future reference, though.

Here via Wendy's.

drama mama said...

I am going to forward your site to my mom. She has had issues with my 34 year old brother for many years. He is now serving his 3rd sentence in prison.

He grew up in the same great home that I did, but has exercised his free will in choosing the lifestyle he now leads. None of us can understand it, but I guess that's what happens when kids grow up. Free Agency.

Prayers and Hugs for you!

Here from Wendy!

Yellow Mama said...

Thanks for the challenge and the reminder!

Dawn said...

What a sad story! I really feel for them - and for Curt - and for Kev. Even though their stories are totally different, the end result is somewhat the same.

Kathleen Marie said...

I have a daughter who is struggling so I do ask for prayers for my sweet prodigal who is also a new mommy, a single mom at that. She also seems to have trouble finding direction, keeping a job... It is nice to find those who understand and pray!

Gardenia said...

Sometimes I have seen employers go the extra mile - but they are in the minority. I have an employee (single mom) who is ADHD and her son is too. So she has to have a little bit of extra time off for his issues, and she is sometimes limited in some areas for an office job, yet in other areas she has extraorindary talents! I worry about her, should my boss not be re-elected that some brat boss will not be good to her.

My son had a very hard time too, and sometimes my nephew - bosses would take advantage of them, and then fire them. I could go on with examples - but yes, there is a moral obligation AND, when the person is hired a legal obligation...there is an Americans with Disabilities Act that too often goes unenforced.

Gardenia said...

Had to comeback after a second reading of the article. I am crying. And angry. What can we do to change this?

Barb said...

I can't help but think there's a job out there for anyone, no matter what the circumstances, who wants to work and it's so not right when they are turned down. Think about all the different jobs that need to be done. There's a fit for almost anyone, somewhere.

tlawwife said...

I read your post as the wearer of several hats. As a mom whose child is looking for a job I understand the frustration of how the job interview process works. As the employee of the county who employs a handicapped person I understand how it is a good thing. Honestly the work he does not quality or of much value in a monetary sense but it is a good thing that we do for him and his family. The amount that it costs the county is minute compared to the value to them. As an employer who has given people a second chance only to get bitten over and over I understand how some of the chances we took hurt us in the trust that our customers had in us. We are a business that requires a skill and when we hire unskilled people with the hope of training them we risk a good deal of money not only in wages, taxes, and insurance but also in lost time as my husband doesn't get to bill his time because he is working with the employee and then the work we loose because of the mistrust our customers have in us. We are a small company who would like to do the right thing but it is getting harder to convince ourselves to take the risk. I do believe that everyone who wants to work deserves a job. The hard part as an employer is determining who really wants to work.

Spookie the Warrior said...

This story is just heart-breaking. This woman truly is a strong woman, and a very good mother. There must be and I believe there wil be a soul willing to hire this great big darling of a boy Andrew.

tam said...

Praise Him, praise Him for Sally, for your safe return home and for having a home (despite dust bunnies) to return to!

The article will have to wait for me...my mind is not in a place where I can hear about another Mama's concerns about her son's disability when it is so close to my own two boys...despite a large age gap...this week has been a hard one there!

I have good days too and so I will return to read it then...

Still praying for your prodigals tho...I don't ever forget you!

Janice (5 Minutes for Mom) said...

What a powerful post - thank you for sharing the link.

I am so sorry for the pain you are all going through. That must be so difficult on all of you.