Friday, February 24, 2012

Fictional Friday: Timothy

Timothy is a 30 year-old fellow with thinning brown hair. He wears round, wire-framed glasses that reflects obvious age and wear. Today he is wearing a light jacket over a blue generic Polo shirt and jeans, and black dress shoes that have been well-taken care of in-spite of their age. Timothy is a nervous young man, and his anxiety becomes even more apparent around those he does not know well or when discussing issues uncomfortable to him. He has a mild learning disability and a mental illness.  

Timothy's parents are deceased, and has one relative who has static involvement. Timothy has been turned down for disability benefits, and has virtually no resources. He has been approved for Vocational Rehabilitation and is getting help with seeking employment, but so far has had no luck in getting hired. He is in the process of being evicted from his home, and together we are trying to figure out how soon he might be able to move into municipal subsidized housing. I've also assisted Timothy in applying for other benefits for which he might be eligible, and helped him apply for the Medicaid waiver program (for which he will most likely be found ineligible because his IQ is a handful of points above the typical cut-off). He is another one of those individuals who is in that "gray area."  Test scores put him a category that is above qualifying for Waiver assistance, but in reality, his skill deficits are a real barrier for him. Finding real independence will be difficult for him without some help. Timothy's financial struggles are extremely stressful for him, and he has legitimate worries about his future, which exacerbates his anxiety and mental health.

In the last few weeks I have been able to develop some rapport with Timothy, and he is slowly becoming a little more comfortable. Timothy is a pleasant guy once you get to know him, and has a very likable personality. He desperately wants to support himself through employment, and needs to have the peace of mind of knowing he has someplace to come home to. Timothy just needs a helping hand and some guidance until he can get on his feet, and some minimal support and coaching to help him maintain a measure of self-sufficiency once he gets there.  With the very few resources that he has access to, Timothy has few avenues to follow. Hopefully, one of these roads eventually leads to success and real independence for him.


Note: Timothy is a fictional character, based on a composite of real individuals. Composite characters who appear in my "Fictional Friday" posts are based on people with real stories, with particular details, names, and certain specific circumstances changed so as to protect privacy.   


  1. That could describe a lot of us."desperately wants to support himself. . . needs to have the peace of mind of knowing he has someplace to come home to. . . needs a helping hand and some guidance . . . some minimal support and coaching"
    And the difference in outcome from with and without is vast.
    Thanks for doing these Fictional Fridays, Dave.

  2. Unfortunately, I am seeing more and more of these individuals falling through the cracks. I work at a mental health facility and a group home and it is so frustrating when they come in and the two agencys argue over where someone would be best served all do to an IQ number.


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I work for a Community-Based, Not-for-Profit agency. I have worked in the disability field for over twenty-five years. I am the father of two boys, and have been married to my teenage sweet-heart for 23 years. I live and work in the same town where I was born & raised.
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