By Kim Stagliano
I was scrolling down my Facebook wall earlier this week when this photo caught my attention.
This is Keith, a young adult with autism, and son of my friend Crystal S. I asked her if I could share this glimpse into the version of autism often (purposefully) overlooked by self-advocates and the general media alike. While Keith himself is a handsome guy, his autism is considered kind of ugly by those who only want you to see shiny, happy fairy tales.
So... What is happening to Keith.
Is he having heart surgery?
Is he having his appendix removed?
Keith is settled into a hospital for a dental appointment. That's right. Anesthesia, a day off for Mom who is a behavioral consultant and in school to become a certified teacher, and then recovery. For basic dental work.
Imagine the anxiety for Keith.
Imagine the lost work hours for Mom.
Imagine the juggling of other children - to get them to school.
Imagine the cost.
This is autism - and there are tens of thousands of Keiths growing older every day.
Kind of bites, doesn't it?
Kim Stagliano is Managing Editor of Age of Autism. Her new novel, House of Cards; A Kat Cavicchio romantic suspense is available from Amazon in all e-formats now. Her memoir, All I Can Handle I'm No Mother Teresa is available in hardcover, paperback and e-book.