November 16, 2019
Peter, like most adults with Down Syndrome, is a 21 year old with very firm ideas about his life and his future. He wants to be independent, drive a car, and not have anyone be the boss of him.
Luckily, we have a local dairy near us that was looking for a part time calf feeder and Peter was perfect for the job. He goes in twice a week for 2 hours in the morning (at 6am!) and 2 hours in the evening, filling 15-50 milk bottles, putting them out for the calves, and washing the bottles afterwards, all independently. He has learned to drive a “mule” to take the bottles out to the calves and he has learned the responsibility of having a job. He is generally the one to remind us, ”Mom, I have to work in the morning”, which always surprises us because his work days rotate week to week and are never the same. For the past 2 years it has been a great job for him to supplement his work time on the ranch and to give him some spending money.
This has solved the independence problem (to a bit), but the driving is still one of his goals. His horse would be a great asset if he could safely ride alongside the roads to town. Are horses more carbon friendly than cars? Maybe not, but at least he can ride a horse.