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S03.E07: F-O-- FOLLOW T-H-R-- THROUGH

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The DiMeos realize they have great intentions but lack follow-through when it comes to ... everything. Vowing to change, Ray and Dylan take on government bureaucracy; Kenneth helps JJ prepare for college; and Maya tries to reconnect with Jimmy.

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Wouldn't JJ just get a Keurig for college? He's not going to mess around with a glass carafe on a daily basis. 

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On 12/7/2018 at 8:22 PM, rhys said:

Wouldn't JJ just get a Keurig for college? He's not going to mess around with a glass carafe on a daily basis. 

It's possible Kenneth wanted him to start with something more challenging, so he would be able to handle anything on his own. :\

***

What a sweet episode -- it was everything I love about this show and these characters:

1) JJ/Kenneth -- while "London (Part 2)" found JJ wondering whether he and Kenneth would still be able to stay friends no matter where life after high school took them, this ep dealt head-on with the question of Kenneth's future (since JJ at least has college and possibly filmmaking / film-industry work to aim for). JJ giving an inspirational speech was great, and I like the idea of Kenneth working toward a coaching career. :)

2) Ray/Dylan -- totally called it on "JJ's Dream" being brought back, yo! :D Some funny stuff here (such as Dylan singing a 'Rocky'-like theme while Ray gets redirected to various offices and fills out endless forms, and Dylan casually lying to Ray about a "misplaced form" after having raised hell with the Assistant Zoning Commissioner, who had denied Ray's playground-building permit because "my sister uses this area to play frolf"); but I also had to appreciate that she ended up letting him have full credit for making the playground happen, especially after she'd seen him so depressed over having followed all the rules and proper procedures for nothing.

3) Jimya -- last time we saw or heard anything about JJ's man-cave (in 2x17 "One Angry Maya"), Jimmy and Dylan were supposedly working on it together but got sidetracked by ping-pong and fixing up the old car for Ray; and of course, shortly after that, the family got evicted and then moved back in, which would've undone whatever setting-up they had started in the garage. Here, it serves as a reminder to Jimmy of his parental responsibilities while Maya fears that she's "dropped the ball" by neglecting their marriage. Thankfully, instead of the show being content to let the pair's lovely reconnecting and '90s nostalgia be undercut by the reveal of the carbon-monoxide leak (well, at least JJ dodged a bullet by going without his man-cave for so long), the characters get to make the effort to come through for each other as quickly as possible -- she by surprising him with a picnic on the beach, and he by finally finishing the catchy little ditty he had partially written / recorded for her when they had first met 21 years ago ("Hey, roommate, can you spare a wife...?" -- nice callback to the fact that Maya had been his roomie's fiancee, as revealed in 1x14 "Valentine's Day"). <3

Edited by GRChereck · Reason: typos; clarity
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3 hours ago, rhys said:

Wouldn't JJ just get a Keurig for college? He's not going to mess around with a glass carafe on a daily basis. 

A carafe, a hot plate, and a jar of instant coffee would be much cheaper than a Keurig-type coffee maker. The DiMeos live on a shoestring budget.

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If Kenneth likes being an aide, there are LOTS of other people who need one, so he'd never be out of work again for the rest of his life. I didn't really understand why he thought he had to change careers altogether.

Also, is JJ going to school far from home? He's going to need an aide of some sort, even if he finds a way to make coffee.

I thought Dylan was going to post the video she was taking at the park site, with the "I revoked your permit for a petty reason" confrontation, and it would go viral, and the donors would rally around Ray and stage protests until the bureaucrat reversed his decision. I guess they wanted to make it about the family, though, so okay.

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1 minute ago, possibilities said:

I thought Dylan was going to post the video she was taking at the park site, with the "I revoked your permit for a petty reason" confrontation, and it would go viral, and the donors would rally around Ray and stage protests until the bureaucrat reversed his decision. I guess they wanted to make it about the family, though, so okay.

Me too! And also okay with it. 

"What fresh DiMeo hell is this?" I laughed out loud. 

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I liked most of this episode except for the JJ and Kenneth storyline. We've seen JJ working with a physical therapist he should also be working with an occupational therapist. Kenneth was a school employee before JJ arrived so I don't understand why he would need to leave when he graduated. I think it would have been a better episode if JJ had gone with Ray and Dylan to City Hall especially since he didn't like Ray starting a fake charity.

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10 hours ago, Bobbin said:

A carafe, a hot plate, and a jar of instant coffee would be much cheaper than a Keurig-type coffee maker. The DiMeos live on a shoestring budget.

Oh yes all good points. Even those bags of coffee grounds (like tea bags) would be money ahead when you factor in the cost of a buying a Mr Coffee or replacing a carafe frequently.

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On 12/7/2018 at 9:22 PM, rhys said:

Wouldn't JJ just get a Keurig for college? He's not going to mess around with a glass carafe on a daily basis. 

That is what I was thinking!

On 12/8/2018 at 12:44 AM, Bobbin said:

A carafe, a hot plate, and a jar of instant coffee would be much cheaper than a Keurig-type coffee maker. The DiMeos live on a shoestring budget.

Yeah, but a hot plate with JJ's disabilities is just asking for a trip to the burn ward.

I bet they could get a Keurig for pretty cheap used - and there are those generic dollar store Keurig Cups. Then there is the problem of getting the cup into the Keurig - but probably easier than getting the coffee out of the can, into the machine, getting water in the pot, getting it into the machine, and so on. 

On 12/8/2018 at 12:55 AM, possibilities said:

Also, is JJ going to school far from home? He's going to need an aide of some sort, even if he finds a way to make coffee.

JJ is going to need an aide no matter what - at the very least for toileting. He could record lectures - or disability services could hire a note taker for him - or both. Since he'll be 18, there will be programs that can help pay for an aide, nowhere near the amount he needs, but since it is a sitcom, Maya will manage to twist someones arm to get him the funding he needs, and Kenneth will end up being a basketball coach wherever JJ goes to college.

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23 hours ago, 71dude said:

This was a really good episode - best of the season so far.

Much as I loved that Halloween episode (with the return of Lee), I'm gonna have to agree -- I saw it as the show taking a much-needed breather between two major-holiday eps (Thanksgiving in "Celebrity Suite" and Christmas in this Friday's "Jingle-Thon") to address some dropped / neglected story-lines (Ray's charity, JJ getting serious about preparing for college after having been given a whole extra year of high school to do so, Kenneth starting to figure out his own plans of what to do with himself after JJ graduates, and especially Jimmy and Maya's relationship as a couple). :)

Edited by GRChereck
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I liked this episode a lot, I enjoyed each of the plot lines. It was especially sweet seeing Jimmy and Maya trying to find time to reconnect, plus Jimmy and his tunes! "Your curly hair, and your funny accent..." 

So, can Kenneth not be an aid in college? Is there a reason why? Is it a price issue, like the university wont pay for it, while the school will? Maybe he can get another aid job, or with special needs students? Go back to school? 

Dylan is the relative who will threaten a turtle with a stapler for you apparently. 

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2 hours ago, tennisgurl said:

So, can Kenneth not be an aid in college? Is there a reason why? Is it a price issue, like the university wont pay for it, while the school will? Maybe he can get another aid job, or with special needs students? Go back to school?

Judging from what he was saying during his breakdown, it sounded like he was primarily talking about working with JJ -- how well he'd gotten to know him and learn to deal with his particular needs -- rather than being an aide in general: 

Quote

KENNETH: [crying] I hate it, man. This is ending. It's challenging, it's fun, I make a difference. And I'm so damn good at it... No, I don't have anything else lined up. That was all bull. That is what you were asking, right? [looks at JJ] See how good I am at this? You think you're scared about what's next. At least you know what you want. I found what I love, JJ. And he's going off to college.

Read more: https://www.springfieldspringfield.co.uk/view_episode_scripts.php?tv-show=speechless-2016&episode=s03e07

(And I suppose I could understand that, as I find it hard to imagine Kenneth wanting to start all over again with a different special-needs student at the school -- especially since that kid would also eventually graduate, anyway -- nor any other parents letting him get close to their kids to the same extent that Maya and Jimmy have trusted him with JJ...)

I think that's why coaching seems such an attractive option -- they didn't specify yet what sort of coach, but I'm guessing either JJ's professional "life coach" (if the college JJ ends up at won't pay for an aide like his high school did, Kenneth can continue to make a living while spending a lot of time with him and helping him), or a basketball coach at whatever school JJ attends (so they can at least still be close) could be possibilities. :)

Edited by GRChereck
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11 hours ago, tennisgurl said:

I liked this episode a lot, I enjoyed each of the plot lines. It was especially sweet seeing Jimmy and Maya trying to find time to reconnect, plus Jimmy and his tunes! "Your curly hair, and your funny accent..." 

So, can Kenneth not be an aid in college? Is there a reason why? Is it a price issue, like the university wont pay for it, while the school will? Maybe he can get another aid job, or with special needs students? Go back to school? 

Dylan is the relative who will threaten a turtle with a stapler for you apparently. 

K-12, IDEA gives funds to districts for funding things like paras (paraprofessionals) and one-on-ones. I think they also mentioned in one episode that some organization might be helping pay for some of Kenneth?

Once JJ gets that diploma, he is no longer covered by IDEA - he is covered under the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) - it only provides accommodations - an aide is not an accommodation - it is something the person has to pay for themselves. One thing a university can provide through disability services, but are not required to provide include a person to take notes for you. A lot of universities also have handicapped accessible dorms - well I think they are legally required to per ADA, but they don't have to have one for everyone, they probably just pick a name out of a hat.

Per this site, a home care aid can cost as much as $30 an hour - https://www.care.com/c/stories/10239/cost-home-care-aide/ - realistically, JJ needs someone 24/7, but let's say he paid for someone for 16 hours a day - that is $480 a day at $30 an hour. Even if he spends the weekends at home and only needs the aide 5 days a week, that is $2400 per week.

At least here in NJ, a para runs around $30,000 a year full time starting out, which is a steal for the parents getting 1:1s for their kids for the 7-8 hours a day they are in school for ~180 day a year

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I'm not sure why Kenneth picked making coffee as the task to first cross off JJ's list (after the simple ones), especially as we saw at the end that JJ needs someone to hold the mug for him when he drinks. (Hot-enough-to-drink coffee through a straw sounds painful, too.)  As others have said, he will likely require a full time aide, anyway.  It would make more sense to work on his study skills, which we've seen are very lacking.  if he couldn't get his homework done properly in HS, while living at home and with an aide who attends classes with him, what will happen in college? Academic achievement is an area which he should be working on, and in which he could make huge progress.  I  think he's been watching too many movies and paying too little attention to his schoolwork over the years, and his parents have let him do so.

Edited by ItCouldBeWorse
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15 hours ago, ItCouldBeWorse said:

I'm not sure why Kenneth picked making coffee as the task to first cross off JJ's list (after the simple ones)...

If JJ is anything like me, coffee is the first thing he'll need to start every day. :D (And it would come in handy for pulling those all-nighters, too!)

Seriously, though, I do recall Kenneth saying something like "Let's start with something simple small" before hitting the bigger items on the list (ETA: technically, he said it in response to JJ having picked the task first) -- I guess he had no idea of just how complicated the whole coffee-making process would be for JJ or how things could conceivably go wrong for him. :\ And yeah, when I first read the press-release synopsis for the episode, I kinda assumed their college-preparation would involve either Kenneth helping JJ with his studies (and perhaps realizing his own complicity in how the boy fell behind on some of his assignments last year) or looking into scholarships and stuff like that.

Edited by GRChereck · Reason: correction; additional thought

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JJ will qualify for Personal Care Assistance under the SCOTUS Olmstead "money follows the person" decision, as long as he's qualified for Medicaid, which he will be. They won't provide 24/7 care, in all likelihood, but in MA he would get 2 hours overnight and probably several hours during the day. CA has a comparable system via IHSS (in home support services) to what MA has (PCA services). It might not be funded through his education, but it's funded through the independent living standard that says that if someone can't live without aides, you can't force them into a nursing home instead of paying for aides.

This should cover dressing, hygiene, toileting, meals, light housekeeping, possibly other things like wheelchair maintenance and transportation to medical appointments, possibly range of motion and medication dispensing.

They never give as many hours as you'd really need, but he will get at least SOME assistance.

He might be able to get an educational support aide for note taking and the like, though rehabilitation services and voc rehab-- they like to get you off the dole if they can, and vocational rehab and education are the usual routes.

I do NOT by any means intend to imply that adequate funding is available for services of any kind. But I know many people with disabilities and anyone at JJ's level of need in CA will get at least SOME supports.

The show is really failing at portraying the independent living movement, which is a real shame.

Edited by possibilities
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On 12/11/2018 at 11:48 AM, possibilities said:

JJ will qualify for Personal Care Assistance under the SCOTUS Olmstead "money follows the person" decision, as long as he's qualified for Medicaid, which he will be. They won't provide 24/7 care, in all likelihood, but in MA he would get 2 hours overnight and probably several hours during the day. CA has a comparable system via IHSS (in home support services) to what MA has (PCA services). It might not be funded through his education, but it's funded through the independent living standard that says that if someone can't live without aides, you can't force them into a nursing home instead of paying for aides.

This should cover dressing, hygiene, toileting, meals, light housekeeping, possibly other things like wheelchair maintenance and transportation to medical appointments, possibly range of motion and medication dispensing.

They never give as many hours as you'd really need, but he will get at least SOME assistance.

He might be able to get an educational support aide for note taking and the like, though rehabilitation services and voc rehab-- they like to get you off the dole if they can, and vocational rehab and education are the usual routes.

I do NOT by any means intend to imply that adequate funding is available for services of any kind. But I know many people with disabilities and anyone at JJ's level of need in CA will get at least SOME supports.

The show is really failing at portraying the independent living movement, which is a real shame.

Yes, I’m in CA and am my som’s IHSS provider. It’s a Medi-cal program. Because of his severe disabilities and his need to have “protective supervision”, he qualifies for the max 283 hours per month. It’s defintrly been a blessing, as I gave up a high paying career and retirement for him.  But, believe it or not, even the max hours doesn’t cover when he needs assistance when he is up throughout the night at times. Def makes me nervous for his future, since I anticipate the system may go broke at some point. And it took me 8 years to finally get him ON medi-cal, so it’s certainly no slam dunk. Maya was fortunate to find Kenneth. 

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On ‎12‎/‎11‎/‎2018 at 3:22 AM, ItCouldBeWorse said:

I'm not sure why Kenneth picked making coffee as the task to first cross off JJ's list (after the simple ones), especially as we saw at the end that JJ needs someone to hold the mug for him when he drinks. (Hot-enough-to-drink coffee through a straw sounds painful, too.)  As others have said, he will likely require a full time aide, anyway.  It would make more sense to work on his study skills, which we've seen are very lacking.  if he couldn't get his homework done properly in HS, while living at home and with an aide who attends classes with him, what will happen in college? Academic achievement is an area which he should be working on, and in which he could make huge progress.  I  think he's been watching too many movies and paying too little attention to his schoolwork over the years, and his parents have let him do so.

I think JJ never learned how to study and he wasn't academically challenged until he went to public school. I also think the kids learned from their parents example and they weren't good with finishing things.

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I did find it odd that the parents didn't have working carbon monoxide detectors in place. I'd think when you have a kid with a disability, you have working carbon monoxide & smoke detectors.

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3 hours ago, rhys said:

I did find it odd that the parents didn't have working carbon monoxide detectors in place. I'd think when you have a kid with a disability, you have working carbon monoxide & smoke detectors.

Or that the landlord didn't have one. Maybe he had them but took them after he sold the house?

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15 hours ago, rhys said:

I did find it odd that the parents didn't have working carbon monoxide detectors in place. I'd think when you have a kid with a disability, you have working carbon monoxide & smoke detectors.

Their garage is not connected to the house and is not meant for living in, so no detectors. If they are going to set it up as a place to hang out in, then they need them.

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I know JJ longs for independence...but given the extent of his disabilities, wouldn't it be better for him to commute to a local school for at least the first year, or even take online courses? That way also makes sense for the show, as he'd still be home and regularly interacting with his family.

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12 hours ago, SnarkySheep said:

I know JJ longs for independence...but given the extent of his disabilities, wouldn't it be better for him to commute to a local school for at least the first year, or even take online courses? That way also makes sense for the show, as he'd still be home and regularly interacting with his family.

A lot of the online platforms that colleges use for online courses suck normally - I cannot imagine how dysfunctional they would with AT

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Online can be good for some disabilities, but I can’t see it working with JJ’s disabilities. And in many respects, living on campus with assistance would be a better transition to independent living with assistance for JJ, for the same reason why it’s a good transition for neurotypical teens. A small, self-contained, accessible campus with Kenneth providing support would let him spread his wings a bit, and many colleges have good disability support services and work with vocational rehabilitation and local independent living programs. 

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16 hours ago, dmmetler said:

Online can be good for some disabilities, but I can’t see it working with JJ’s disabilities. And in many respects, living on campus with assistance would be a better transition to independent living with assistance for JJ, for the same reason why it’s a good transition for neurotypical teens. A small, self-contained, accessible campus with Kenneth providing support would let him spread his wings a bit, and many colleges have good disability support services and work with vocational rehabilitation and local independent living programs. 

I have been to two colleges. The community college I went to was the best with disability services.

The state school I went to was so bad that i got one of their disability services departments shut down because the college did not want them to get within 2 hours of violating federal law again.

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