Q&A: Jared’s story

Jared at Denny’s with his father.

Twenty-five year old Hillsboro resident Jared Korpi relies on Medicaid. His father, David, is his primary caregiver.

David shares why services available through Medicaid are essential for Jared to be able to live in his family home.

Where does Jared live now?

Jared lives with me in Hillsboro where we have lived for the past seven years.

What kind of health needs does Jared have?

Jared has been diagnosed with autism, seizure disorder and bipolar disorder. In addition, Jared is nonverbal and wanders. Due to the individual and combination of conditions, Jared requires 24/7 supervision.

Jared enjoying Disney on Ice performance

Can you tell us a little about Jared?

When he’s calm and relaxed, he can read, write, follow written schedules and choice calendars. He is cooperative, likes to laugh, and he sings a lot.

Jared occasionally attempts to parallel play with other kids, but he finds comfort and safety at home where he has his own computer, tablet, TV, A/C, and his toy animals. Jared also enjoys going shopping, to local parks, hiking, and events such as live ice shows, musicals, and plays.

When Jared is manic, he throws objects, knocks down shelves, and will try to harm anyone who gets in his way or is the source of his frustration.

Jared does not understand the concept of time, money, or boundaries.

When he is manic, Jared is impatient, struggles to follow schedules, negations or redirects are challenged, and he wanders or runs off when he is flustered or feels the sudden need to leave.

Jared at Shute Park Public Library

What in-home support services does he receive?

Due to the severity of Jared’s conditions, it’s difficult at best to find anyone who would take Jared on. I am his primary care provider with the help of friend of ours who Jared knows and trusts.

Jared is supervised 24/7 and visits his mom once a week. Jared is unable to take care of his own needs.

Due to seizure disorder, his bathing needs to be monitored as well.

We try to provide access to activities he enjoys as well as introduce or build on life skills as the opportunities present themselves.

Jared enjoys daily outdoor activities of his choosing as well as planned events.

What difference do these services make in his life?

Having familiar faces Jared knows and trusts, who understand his unique needs has giving him a quality of life that he would not have otherwise.

Jared gets participate in social activities and events that he can enjoy at his own pace and discretion.

Jared checking out the Portland Children’s Museum.

What would Jared’s life be like without these support services?

It would be devastating to Jared. He would lose the freedom he has and the ability to do the things he loves.

Jared has a meaningful life and enjoys being able to interact with the world on his own terms.

However, Jared’s has multiple conditions which makes it dangerous for him to be left alone.

A cut in hours will create a significant hole in supports that will leave Jared mentally, emotionally, and physically vulnerable.

Without the hours needed to take care of Jared, I will have no other choice but to have the state take responsibility for Jared’s health, safety, and well-being

Jared and his dad David in front of the Hillsboro Public Library.

What do you mean by “have the state take responsibility” for Jared?

If I cannot provide for Jared’s safety and well-being, as an adult, Jared would be turned over to the state.

Jared has too many sensory and aggression issues to be placed into a group home or foster care, so he would most likely be institutionalized.

Can you leave Jared alone while you’re at work?

No. Due to Jared’s conditions (non-verbal autistic, bipolar disorder, seizure disorder) and for his own safety, I could not ethically or morally leave Jared home alone.

Jared does not understand boundaries and will wander from home if left alone.

In 2013, he entered a home of someone he did not know to drop a toy off on their dining room table (he thinks he is Jack Skellington from Nightmare Before Christmas) and the homeowner called the police. This could have been ended up tragically, and may happen again if Jared is unattended.

Videos of Jared enjoying a few outings:

Jared and his follower

Posted by Dave Korpi on Thursday, August 13, 2015


Posted by Dave Korpi on Saturday, October 22, 2016