Al came here as a young elementary aged child. Most see him as the happy go lucky individual with no cares. The reality is that Al is consumed with anxiety. He has more services than any of our children due to developmental disabilities. He is a young adult living in the mind of a 12 year old boy.
Of course, such a disability creates a myriad of difficulties. Al is a caring, kind and everybody's best friend. He is also very vulnerable to anyone and everyone for so many different reasons. On one hand, Al is our easiest son. On the other hand, he's our most immature.
Al was born addicted to cocaine and alcohol. He talked at the age of 6. His body suffers from a multitude of medical problems from asthma to minor heart problems. Al's strengths come from him arriving in our home as a younger child and his genetics. He has had the time to learn to work hard, treat people fairly, and just be nice.
Our world makes life very hard for Al. He has no understanding of the Internet and cell phones. If Al had been born during the agricultural years of our country, he would succeed. But technology in all forms will lead him down the path of destruction. Societal norms escape him. He cannot tell if a girl is 14 or a woman at 30. His perception of the world causes daily difficulties. The rules of the work place elude him even with a job coach.
Our current issue revolves around another son in the home who seems to have taken advantage of Al. Truly, it is a pretty minor issue in our world. Yet, it makes us take another step of protection. No longer will a neighbor-friend be allowed to pay cash to Al and the other son, Miah. They will have to give the money to us to make sure Al gets his fare share. Al is a very hard worker, and we're sure he earned every penny. But he cannot produce any of the money for our safe keeping. He honestly does not know where it is. He says Miah was to keep it for him, but.....