UPDATE ON CORY: Making history! On November 17, 2015, the SDM Pilot reached another milestone when Cory Carlotto appeared before a Berkshire County Probate Court judge and successfully petitioned to terminate his guardianship.
This is the first time that a Massachusetts resident has relinquished a guardianship in favor of a Supported Decision-Making Agreement.
Cory was represented by Robert Fleischner from the Center for Public Representation. Cory, now 24, had been under his mother’s guardianship since he was 18. His mother, Malia Windrow-Carlotto, along with his father, Angelo Carlotto, and his sister, Carisa Halon, are on his SDM Network. Cory is very happy that he can now make life decisions with support if needed from his sister and his parents. His mother described SDM as the “perfect storm for Cory, because we always wanted an alternative to guardianship from the beginning, but there was not such an option at the time when Cory turned 18. We are happy that Nonotuck and CPR have stepped up to meet this need for families and their loved ones.”
More about Cory:
Cory is 24 and resides at home with his family. Cory’s interests include music, cars, and outings with friends. Cory works with the Advantage Employment Network and does various part-time jobs in a supported environment. He has a great smile and an outgoing personality. Cory is on the Autism Spectrum and at times struggles with his OCD and anxiety which affect him in all aspects of life including health, relationships, finances and program participation.
In 2009, when Cory was approaching the age of 18, his parents, Malia and Angelo Carlotto, felt he was not yet mature enough to make decisions on his own regarding his health care, finances and other major life issues. Cory’s cognition lagged approximately 5 years behind his chronological age, according to Malia. His parents felt that he still needed protection, and since they could not find any alternative, they proceeded with guardianship, but always with the intention that one day they would be able to give Cory back his rights.
In January 2015, Cory and his family inquired about the Supportive Decision-Making Pilot Project being developed by Nonotuck and the Center for Public Representation (CPR). Cory and his parents were happy about what Supportive Decision-Making offers and made the mutual decision to move forward. Cory completed a Representation Agreement identifying need areas and designating supporters to be on his network to help him make decisions.
In September of 2015, Cory and Malia presented to a packed room, on their experiences in the SDM Pilot Project at the 22nd Annual Shared Living and Adult Family Care Conference in Marlboro.