Current plans call for Valdez to live with his parents, Margarita and Isabel Valdez, and to have a companion who can use sign language to help him develop his rudimentary communication skills and to convey his needs to the speaking world, McDonald said. He would have two conservators: one to pay all his bills from the annuity fund and another to take care of all the other details of his life.
He would take classes in independent living--learning such basics as how to get around on buses, keep a bank account, cook, clean and grocery shop--from a private tutor or at a school that specializes in such training, she said.
And hopefully, McDonald said, Valdez could hold a job. He has worked successfully as a busboy, gardener, painter and furniture mover in supervised work programs off the state hospital grounds, she said.
"He's very reliable and meticulous," he said. "He loves order and schedules. When we visit him and he knows he has to be at work soon, he starts fidgeting and pointing at his watch. He takes it very seriously."