Jeff went to Special Ed, and they taught him the alphabet and how to recognize key words like Danger, and Exit, but couldn't really teach him to read or write. He would sit with he TV guide in front of the TV and when he saw a word on Television, like the Title of a Program or an ad he'd look for it in the TV Guide too, that way he could take his time writing it, and knew how it was pronounced. Mind you he's not reading Shakespeare or writing long essays on human nature, but he has basic communication skills.
When Jeff was born the umbilical cord was wrapped around his head and cut of the blood flow to his brain for about 20 minutes. His IQ tests out at about 70 or so. He has slighly mongoloid features, HATES to see my mom's bare feet (wierd), is easily moved to tears by sad songs and TV programs, is almost always in a good mood, rarely loses his temper, is patient and forgiving when people disappoint him, etc.
His girlfriend Missy seducted him (she lives at another Silva home in the next town. I was the first one he saw after this happened. He was so excited and couldn't wait to tell mom. I'm glad I headed him off at the pass on that one. Some things mom just shouldn't know. He and I had the birds and the bees talk then. (this was about six years ago).
He's had several jobs outside his workshop program, the longest with McDonalds unloading their truck. At Pizza Hut doing dishes, and at KFC, finally as a Janitor at a plant. The handicap can contribute to society and they do have goals and dreams.
Jeff has a child's faith in God. Last time I was home to visit he'd come to spend the night at my Mom and Dad's house. I was downstairs and heard him talking to himself, not an unusual event. He likes to talk back to the TV and with Tourettes it can be loud sometimes. I went upstairs to spy on what he was talking to the TV about. Silly me, he was laying on the bed, TV off, praying. Talking to God like he was right there in the room with him. There's a lot Jeff doesn't know about the world (thank God), but there are some things he's sure of, one is his faith in God. Jeff inspires me.