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When your training says one thing and your culture says another

WHAT WOULD YOU DO? You are working with an individual who, at nineteen years old, is limited in speech, mobility and independent living skills. According to most programs providing disability services, your goal should be to have the person live in as close to a 'normal' way as possible. If he stays on the reservation, he will need to live with family or friends. Also, he has not been able to find a job due to his disability. His mother does not want the young man to move away. He says he doesn't know what he wants.

It would appear that the mother has enough interest in the person to have him/her living with her. I get this from the mother’s wish to have him/her stay on the reservation. If this were the case then I would recommend that the person stay with the mother and attempt to slowly integrate him/herself into society.
Some reservations have half way houses that could be another option. I would definately keep the individual on or close to the reservation to decrease any transitioning periods or other problems to a larger or even a different society given his/her disability.

Living on the reservation also provides him/her with the possibilities of working with a variety of programs such as Vocation Rehabilitation or other similar programs which would assist him/her in the quest to find a job.


The first and only thing I would say regarding the individual in question is this; accept the fact that he is already living as close to a 'normal' way as possible. And it is not possible to, physically, mentally, emotionally improve him... and you’re not evil if you don't try. Sometimes it is hard for those of us in the service professions to accept that there are things we cannot change. And we cause more problems when we try to improve a situation that can't be improved.


I will assume that this individual is eligible for Vocational Rehab services and that he is willing to work. I will then inform him about the choices that he has regarding finding employment and that this decision will be based upon medical, social, physical and psychological assessments, what he wants to do and what he can actually do with the assistance of Voc Rehab. I will then discuss with him about the services of the Lake Region Corp. and the 4th Corp. Lake Region Corp. is a facility that specifically works with people who are disabled. They teach them about job skills and social skills, act.. This will be a goal in his Plan. We also will discuss the 4th Corp. They will teach him about independent living skills on how to live eventually on his own. This will be a goal towards the end of his Plan that we hope that he will eventually achieve. I feel that there is no one that we can not work with if we make the effort to. We not only assist individuals in achieving employment, but also to achieve a sense of satisfaction that they can do things on their own and have the self-confidence that they need to continue striving to meet the other goals that they have set in their lives.


I would see what his interests would be whether it's on the job training or going to school. I would recomend getting him into the steps program which is Steps to Self Sufficiency and this will help how to successfully find and keep a job. The steps program will help him to maintain good work habits. You could also help him get into corporations such as Fourth Corporation which will teach him independent living skills.

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