Steven II | Tennessee Center for Decision-Making Support

Steven II

My name is Steven. My wife and I have two children. Alisha is our daughter, and Steven II is our son. Steven has autism. When he was 18, he was approached by an Army recruiter.  We knew Steven had some limits to his decision-making skills and we wanted to protect him.  The only option made available to us was conservatorship.

Although we were co-conservators, we wanted Steven to develop his decision-making skills.  So, we allowed and encouraged him to make decisions with our input to make sure he understood the circumstances. It felt like we were being excluded from making decisions about our son, but conservatorship gave us a seat at the table.

Over time, Steven’s decision-making has greatly improved. Now he almost exclusively makes his own decisions. If we had known about supported decision-making, we would have taken that route, along with power of attorney, to develop Steven’s decision-making process while having some form of protection. We are still considering having the conservatorship dissolved.