created at: 2011-07-22So little is really known about the 20 year old man who is at the center of the Sandy Hook tragedy. Of course we are taken aback by the enormity of the tragedy. Yet so many aspects of his life are all too familiar, and perhaps it’s that familiarity that is the true horror. Here is a troubled young man, who by one report on NPR, received substantial psychological services while in school “to ensure that he was not bullied.” With hours of professional help, apparently for years, to what avail?

Every year, scores of young adults come to JF&CS Services for People with Disabilities looking for help. These men and women have a variety of needs- learning disabilities, autism, disabling psychiatric conditions. Almost all once qualified for special education services. Then they “graduated” at age 22. School is over. And no job or training program follows. Days are now spent at home, hours in their rooms, often immersed in the computer. These young adults don’t want to isolate. They want to have a chance at a productive life with greater independence. Sadly, these are no tiny minority who “fall through the cracks” of what is otherwise an all inclusive web of care. This is our new normal.

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