I’m fed up. I’m sick to death of fighting alone. Autism is about to swallow me whole, and where are you, government? What concerns you least? The fact that families are drowning in the darkness of autism or that the children you won’t help are growing up to become 200 pound problems that will fall into your lap once our generation is gone?
I’ve passed through all the stages of grief. When my little two year old was diagnosed, I had faith that he would recover. I would fix him. Now, nearly four years later when I can no longer carry him out of Wal-Mart of a freakin' Books-A-Million store by myself, I wonder if it will ever happen.
I’m worn out. I consider myself to be a proactive autism warrior. I’ve done it all; there is no stone left unturned. And at the same time, my son’s temper tantrums and out of control behavior are no better than they were when we began this journey. What exactly do you suggest for us, Mr. President?
I’m tired of screaming at the top of my lungs and having no words escape from my mouth. While most people are concerned about the economy or the Superbowl, autism warriors are fighting a different battle. We have greater concerns. Will our children get away from us and be found at the bottom of a nearby lake? Will seizures begin when puberty sets in? How will we handle an out of control teenager who’s twice our size? Who will care for our children when we’re dead?
I’ve searched for years. You offer me no help, and not only do you not meet my needs, you blatantly deny any wrong doing and suggest that alternative therapies I try aren’t worth reimbursement. So, where do we go? You’d be quick to swoop down on my house, critiquing every parental move I make if I so much as spank my child in public. This week alone, two mothers murdered their autistic children, while one attempted to take her own life. Where is the help that we need, so that more families don't end up like this? Nobody is there. Where are you, Mr. President?
Now I wake up and wonder what the day will hold. Pre-term labor contractions and a jammed finger from trying to control my son? That’s what I received today. And while I, and thousands of others like me, fight in silence because other people don’t want to “hear it”, you willingly provide assistance for those who have completely normal children and NEED money for food, housing, and clothing. Is this ironic to you, Mr. President?
Somehow, somewhere, there has to be an answer. My suggestion for you? Before you’re dealt with thousands of children whose parents are long gone from the stress and strain autism puts on their weakened bodies, find an answer. All you have to do is listen to the cries of families living in this crisis. We need help. We need respite, real medical attention for the physical complications of autism, therapy for our children, and perhaps therapy for ourselves. We need answers. For if you won’t find them now, one day, they’ll be unanswered questions for government officials like you to find. Now is your time, Mr. President.
Crystal is the mother of a five-year-old with autism. She is an advocate of biomed and is currently implementing Dr. Amy Yasko's approach with her son. She is a freelance writer and can be found at http://crystaldavidsonengler.blogspot.com.