Managing Editor's Note: Below is a sobering look at the future for many familes as exhaustion of mind, body and savings in conjunction with intense care for an autistic adult child becomes untenable. The moderate to severe autism population has few options in our current disability systems. Competitive employment might be a stretch, day programs are often "daybysitting" at best, and housing options are limited, if available at all. The media is starting to wake up to the flood of children headed toward age 22 and the ramifications for state and Federal budgets alike. Not to mention the very real human toll of pain, heartache and worry.
"I'm no longer able to provide supervision." Listen to this Mother - she is decribing the autism so often overlooked - intentionally - by organizations and the media alike. Really listen to her - she is knowledgeable, up to date on how to care for her son and broken hearted. She is us.
Light it up true.
By Anne Dachel
A Tragic story out of Canada
It started with this story on April 26, 2013, Canadian TV: Decision to drop off autistic son gut wrenching says Ottawa couple.
Watch the video here: Exclusive: Couple leaves autistic son in care of the state
(Her adult son with autism functions on the level of a two year old.)
"Decision to drop off autistic adult son 'gut-wrenching', says Ottawa couple:
Watchi this video and listen to the mother talk about how Philippe recently wandered away. He is in need of constant supervision.
"Philippe requires nursing care for his diabetes as well as his bathing, toileting and personal care. His food intake also has to be strictly managed because of his diabetes."
"Parents of autistic adult son not alone in their desperation, say advocates"
Listen to the mother talk about how Philippe recently wandered away. He is in need of constant supervision. May 1, 2013, the Toronto Star reported on the situation in, Parents leave severely autistic son at Ottawa social services agency in 'desperate act.'
"Amanda Telford says she had no choice but to leave her son Philippe with Ottawa social services in order to get him the care he needs.
"An Ottawa couple's painful decision to leave their severely autistic son at a social services agency this week was an act of desperation fuelled by 10 years of frustration." May 1, 2013, the Ottawa Citizen also covered the Telford's situation in, Lack of autism care in Ontario a desperate situation
"There have been so many cases of parents dropping their adult children off with government workers, or failing to retrieve them from short-term respite care, or dropping them off at homeless shelters - including in Ottawa, according to a woman who runs a support organization for parents - that Ontario's Ombudsman, André Marin, has launched an investigation into the crisis.
"'We have heard heart-wrenching stories from aging or ill parents whose adult sons and daughters are a danger to themselves and others and need constant care that can't be provided at home - but they have nowhere to turn,' Marin said when he began the investigation last fall. His office is dealing with so many complaints about the issue that the investigation might take longer than the planned six months....
"The waiting list for residential care for developmentally disabled adults like Telford's son has 12,000 people on it, according to Fry. Many of those on the waiting list are parents in their 60s, 70s and even 80s who need help. Others are in crisis situations like the Telfords and unable to keep their children safe."
So why is this story so important? It's because it's the wave of the future. People reading about Philippe need to be aware that we have to do more than make sure care is being provided for adults with disabilities. We have to be alarmed about why there is such an increasing need in the first place. We have to start talking about the numbers and ask so many children are sick.
This young man is everyone's child. We've pretended autism isn't so bad and it's always been around. BUT THE AUTISTIC ADULTS ARE COMING. We may have grown used to endless stories of kids with autism, but these reports aren't going to be as easy to accept.
Every spring more and more children will age out of school with nowhere to go.
Every year, more and more parents will simply be unable to care for their very needy children.
This mother is articulate and knowledgeable about her son and his needs. She is respectful in her remarks and officials have to take note of the disaster she's describing. We need to get used to these accounts. Autism is no longer just a curious childhood disability. It's going to be an adult problem. The same officials who've covered up the autism epidemic among our children won't be able to do it when it involves adults. And we'll all be paying and paying and paying.
And here's similar story from the U.S.May 1, 2013, Fall River (MA) Herald News: Aging parents of autistic adult cherish moments, worry about future
Maybe when we stop walking and turn off the blue lights we'll discover what's really going on.