It's a scary thought for many parents of kids with developmental differences: What does the future hold? Will he/she make enough money to support themselves? Will they be living off a "system" that is out of money already?
I don't like to venture there in my brain either, but on some level I know I've got to prepare him and myself. I feel desperate to build or carve out a unique and lucrative future for him.
We try to take every opportunity that comes our way. We try out construction experiments, cleaning the church, using public transportation, visiting construction sites, playing restaurant at home, doing laundry, yard work, cooking and trash collection etc... to try and see where the interests and talents lie. It wasn't until recently that Jake mentioned he wanted to be a model "like the guy in the Kohl's ads".
At first I laughed, knowing the cut-throat world modeling can be, then I looked at his nearly perfect features... not mine.... no genetic link thank goodness! He's got the olive skin, the symmetrical face, the dark eyes and he's tall, really tall already. Then pondered, he loves to work out, exercise calms him. He might be able to make this work just by how he's wired!
Then my brain took another hop... this could be perfect. What other job could a person have where they don't have to read or do math? Perfecto... stand there and look good Jake, smile, dance and stay in shape, be a diva (not hard, trust me) ..... and let's see what we get!
Three job interviews and one professional photoshoot later and we're trying our hand with a talent agency. It'll probably turn out to be a scam or something, but we're giving it a whirl and seeing what the possibilities are. The photographer seemed to love working with him and Jake had a blast. Another friend said his look "speaks to the camera" whatever that means.
So we'll try for a year, make some connections, get some good head shots and see what the future holds.
The photos above were taken by the amazing photographer Tim Colburn in Virginia!
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