Growing Up is Hard, Especially for People with Disabilities

The way 25-year-old Essence Guss of Pomona describes growing up captures the way many young people feel about the transition.

“Being an adult is hard,” she said.

But along with the typical challenges of “adulting,” as millennials often call it, like working and paying rent, Guss has cerebral palsy and related conditions including an intellectual delay, seizures and deafness in her left ear. She also has PTSD and severe anxiety.

Through it all, she’s held onto her job at a 99 Cents Only Store near the home she shares with her family and pays her mother $100 per week to cover rent. But Guss’ health problems – and a dearth of services to support her transition to living independently – has made growing up especially difficult, her mother Tracy Evanson said.

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