My Name is Sarah

MY NAME IS SARAH. I am a quilt designer and the sewcial director of Sarah's Sewcial Lounge. I also have a business called Down Right Charming. I sell my quilts mostly on etsy and I make pillowcases to donate to patients in the hospital in memory of my friend Kristen Kirton. I am a young adult living with Down syndrome. I hope you enjoy reading about my life journey.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

What Would You Do?

by Joyce... On September 23rd, we were flying high. Floating up there on cloud nine for sure. The response to the story in the newspaper was tremendous. New customers arrived, many to share stories of members of their family with Down syndrome. Two moms came in to tell me about their baby girls who are no longer on this earth, but are shining stars upon our venture. I was touched beyond words. Sarah was so happy. She carried her copy of the newspaper around all day long. That was Thursday.


Then Friday came. Sarah's daily routine is this:
  • 9:30 she wakes up
  • 9:45 she gets herself dressed
  • 10:30 we depart for the store
  • 10:50 she counts the money drawer
  • 11:00 she goes upstairs to John's office and he feeds her lunch
  • 11:30 she comes back down to the store
  • 11:45 TJ picks her up at the side door to transport her to her job training program

For some reason on Friday, she did not wake up as usual. I went in a few times and asked her if she was ok. I asked if her teeth hurt. She assured me she was fine. So off we went for the store. When it was time for lunch, TJ (John was away at a meeting - sure love having TJ working with us now) came into the store and said Sarah was laying on the futon and did not want to eat lunch. I ran upstairs to check on her and told her she could stay there for the day. She insisted on going to her job. I handed TJ an empty trash can before he left. You know, just in case.

I went back into the store with a pit in my stomach. Something was just off. Something just did not feel right. The crazy thing is, I have been feeling this way since the beginning of this school year. I continue to question why we are sending her to this program when she has a place of employment. Her very own store. You may remember my post from last spring when I found out that this program was recommending that she go to the AAC (adult activities center) upon her aging out at the end of this year. I saw that as being so limiting. I was angry. Mostly because this was the first I had heard this. Her previous teachers seemed more optimistic. But Sarah wants to walk across the stage for graduation in June. So that is the goal. Our eyes are on that prize.

TJ returned to the office and said Sarah was fine by the time he dropped her off. I felt somewhat relieved. Until a few hours later when I started calling Sarah's cell phone at the time she should be home, and she was not answering. My momma antennae was going haywire. I was just about to ask TJ to go home and check on her, when she finally answered. "Gosh mom, I was eating my snack," I heard in her disgusted voice. "I'm fine mom." "Ok Sarah, see you later. This time I really did breathe a sigh of relief. I went back to working on a sample I am making, in between customers.

When I arrived home, an envelope was waiting for me on the counter...

(click on letter to enlarge)

What would you do?

18 comments:

Amy L said...

I'm wondering if someone has made her feel uncomfortable by either being rude or bossy to her? That would be my first thought. Does she have a job coach with her?

Molly said...

nothing changes without a reason. Something happened, either the working conditions changed, or the supervisor changed. They should NOT be sending someone else in her place though. Why were you not contacted when she started needing more and more prompts.

I'd ask to go with her, or to go in and speak to the boss.

Angi said...

I grew up with 2 brothers with DS...my brother Bill loves his work no matter what, Sarah is higher functioning in many aspects...I would like to think differently but I really feel something must have happened, is there a supervisor around??? But maybe, just maybe she needs to change her routine? why? I really think she should be able to answer some questions if you explain someone will go in her place? I wouldn't make her go but she can't do just nothing...

my family said...

something must be going on, why would she just begin acting so out of character. Do you think she is worried about telling you, that maybe she would get in trouble at work?

Adelaide Dupont said...

Yes. Most uncharacteristic.

I hope Sarah is not having too many migraines, as noise and cold can be a trigger for both. Stress, of course. And the whole lying down thing is suggestive.

Feminists with Disabilities are writing quite a lot about sick days/mental health days, at the moment.

And of course it is good to work in other places and see other people before/as the store. Especially in service-type positions.

The relevant post

And there is a change in the seasons as the days grow short.

Hope things are better. And that Sarah is fit to work on Monday. Or Tuesday.

Yes, the bigger situation.

Reading a bit more about the County Diner. In Australia Myer's refers to a department store.

Anne and Whitney: Up, Down and All Around said...

I hope Sarah will open up to you and maybe explain why she is seeming a little "off"? hope all is well and it was maybe just an "off" day for her???

Scarehaircare said...

Perhaps Sarah just likes working better at her store? The environment certainly seems more inviting that any other workplace.

Would she open up to TJ?

JRS said...

hmmm. I just recently wrote a post on Sophie starting preschool. Something went wrong on the first day and she couldn't tell me what happened. It was up to me as her mom to piece it together as best as I could. Sarah is 18 years older, but we are travelling a similar road. You know her best and you know if something is up and how to get her to communicate it with you. Maybe she is just bored. Maybe it is something more. I'm sure you will investigate and get to the bottom of it. Thinking of you.
---Jen

Brandie said...

Since her co-worker didn't go either, it make me think something is going on. They need to investigate instead of just sending someone else. I hope its nothing serious and everything works out.

Leah said...

Ok...hmmm...her coworker is having similar issues? And that is a male coworker? Something is going on that is causing her to not want to go! Either it's with that other coworker, or...since that coworker is also having issues, then her attitude is being influenced by that person, or they're BOTH having the same problems with a job coach as Amy suggested. Whatever it is...something is up. It could be as harmless as they expressing an opinion, or young adult rebellion or goofing off. (hey, my "typical" 21 year old has taken 4 unpaid days off in the last 2 weeks because he didn't "feel" like going to work!) Or maybe those two like each others company A LOT and are enjoying some free time? Like, she didn't answer her phone and was busy enjoying her snack and a bit irritated with you for calling. Was she with that coworker at the time?????? All of that behavior sounds a bit "boyfriend-ish" to me!!!

Tina said...

It feels to me that something is bothering Sarah and she can't really speak about it. I would try and speak with her alone when she is relaxed and in the comfort of her home and perhaps she will be able to shed some light as to what is gpoing on, maybe slowly she might open up.

I do hope it's nothing serious and you manage to sort it out with her. Nothing like a little girl worrying or her mum for that matter.

Cindy said...

Wow Joyce, you've received so many options as to why her behavior has changed. Can I offer one more?

Beth has suffered for a few years with symptoms from her tyroid not working properly. It's been either too fast or too slow. These symptoms include a change in sleeping habits, eating habits, and it has changed her behavoir and attitude at work and at home.

I don't know if it is the thyroid causing Sarah's changes, but it is something to consider if they can't figure out a solution.

Anonymous said...

Trust your mommy radar. Something has definitely changed. (almost sounds like the proverbial, let me fake a tummy ache because I don't want to take a test. But in this case, I doubt she's faking it) She may not be able to verbalize what is going on or even know what it is to tell you. Maybe she likes her new job and doesn't want to do the other anymore. Maybe someone upset her at her old job. Is there a way to put her old job on hold for a week or two? (take a vacation sort of thing?) What is the worst to happen if she loses that job? Is the job really teaching her anything anymore?

I agree, it's uncharacteristic. It may take a lot of detective work to piece it together though.

Jan

Kristen said...

From one mama's heart to another, I hope you will find a reason so the answers can be clear. It's a terrible feeling when your child might be troubled and you don't know how to help.

Mama Mason-Mann said...

Oh Joyce, I'm sorry you're having to deal with this. I don't have any ideas/suggestions, just well wishes that everything gets figured out soon. Thinking of you and sending you positive thoughts.

Cammie Heflin said...

I agree with Amy, there's got to be something going on that Sarah's not happy with..?

Kristin said...

Hmmm... I'm with those who left comments about both Sarah and the other co-worker needing more prompts and both not wanting to go... good luck finding the bottom of this.

Amy said...

I agree with others---use your Mommy Radar!!!!