On this episode of Parenting Impossible, Annette sits down with Yariela Brandao, founder of byond 22, an organization that helps the families of young adults in their transition years. byond22 recognizes that there is a great need for many individuals with disabilities that need assistance transitioning from special education to adult services.

Yariela has taken her years of advocating for her own daughter who is deaf and blind and used her knowledge and passion to help others through these challenging years of transition as well as succession planning.

Annette and Yariela have many life experiences in common which you will hear on the podcast.

Yariela speaks about coming to the United States from Panama with her daughter and enrolling her in The Perkins School in Massachusetts. While it took many adjustments and work, her daughter finally got comfortable with her surroundings and began to make progress. However, the topic of transition to adulthood at age 22 came up and Yariela began to feel that pressure and uncertainty.

There was a period of time where Yariela admits she ignored the issues she was facing but there came a time where she began to gain strength and confidence in her own abilities to take this challenge head on and advocate for her daughter and what was ahead.

She says the first step is to recognize that the issue of transition is not an option and you will have to take it on. Change is coming whether we like it or not and you have to be a part of it.

Yariela also says that for her situation, that she needed to have certain goals and objectives in place to make sure she was getting the right results and future for her daughter. She laid out specific goals such as living arrangements and how close she wanted her daughter to be to home and began that process.

Yariela and Annette discuss some of the other actions she took to ensure her daughter would continue to transition well into adulthood and beyond.

She wraps up by talking about all the assistance that byond22 provides families and the resources that are available to anyone on the organization’s website.

Find out more about byond22 and find some of those valuable resources on the website.