With this quote, I am NOT saying that "mainstream" people are the ones who blossom while people with disabilities such as autism lay brown beneath the August sun. It is all up to chance that some people . . . any person, can prosper and develop in the usual, ordinary fashion. Then there are some that have to struggle and are misunderstood because of their differences.
Today Alec and I stopped at a garage sale. It was being run by a middle-aged mother and a four year old boy. Alec walked into the garage ahead of me, walked around the tables of things for sale, and picked up a Mr. Potato Head toy. The mother spoke to him, but he ignored her. When I walked up to her, she nodded her head toward her four year old, and said, "This little guy is autistic, too." Yup, you kinda get where you can spot these wonderful "special" kids right off the bat. We talked for half an hour and she asked me lots of questions about what we had gone through with our little guy. She told me that he had just been diagnosed because it took so long to arrange it (Alec was on the waiting list for six months to be checked for autism). She also asked me about the services Alec gets (speech therapy, etc.). which is provided for under either IEP which stands for Individual Educational Plan or ADA services. She was told they were on a THREE YEAR waiting list!!!????!!!! That is so wrong in so many ways. Speed is of the utmost importance when diagnosing and getting help for these kids. Early training is essential in starting them off to get the best results.
After we left there we went to the pharmacy to pick up some meds for me, and Alec started making noises like he was getting distressed (be prepared for a melt-down when this happens). The pharmacist came up to the counter and handed him a slinky toy. That engaged him and he was calm and quiet. She told me that she had a nineteen year old son who was autistic and playing with a slinky calmed him down.. See? When you are that close to the situation, you can spot them everywhere you go.
What is it now? . . . something like 1 out of every 58 kids born today are somewhere on the autism spectrum. So if you don't know anyone who has an autistic child, just wait. Eventually you will.
APPOLOGY NOTATION; Sorry, Nabisco Company. I bought a new package of Family Size Oreos and there were 48 cookies in the package. I don't know what the deal with the last one I had which only contained 36. Was one of the cookie packers asleep on the job?
Jenna and I are going to the Giving Tree Theater to see the play THE BOYS NEXT DOOR about four special needs guys who live together. The theater picks a special charity every month and donates part of the proceeds. This month it is to the ARC. How appropriate.
NOTE: It's eleven o'clock and we just got home from the show. WOW!! It was funny, but it sure hit close to home. We worry all the time what it will be like when Alec is grown and perhaps needs to go to a group home. It was very emotional and Jenna and I both did a little crying.
GOD BLESS YOU ALL