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17 Year Old Man with Autism Spends Night in Frigid New York Temps After Wandering

Tarot_death_02"We'll take these happy endings where we can get them”,  says the news reporter. She means well. And for her, this story is over.  17 year old Michael Barbella was at a bowling alley when he wandered (I wonder how fast he is) away into the cold Long Island, NY night. The report says he was with his mother. Another report says he was with his parents. Michael is prone to wandering according to the story - he even left his home during a Nor'easter - that's a weather event here in the northeast that's half hurricane, half blizzard.

We are glad Michael is alive. But this is far from a happy ending. His parents' worry isn't over. It's groundhog day with autism and wandering. EVERY DAY is a chance for our kids to....die. Drown. Freeze to death. Get hit by a car. A train.  Stranger danger is the least of our worries. Our kids are invisible once they are no longer tots. They look typical for the most part - it's their behaviors that create questions.  If anything, to a stranger they might look "crazy," and ain't  no one coming to their aid.  The village sucks.....   Michael was outside overnight with only a tank top - he took OFF his coat and shirt. Himself. 

Autism is deadly. Exhausting. Imagine his parents' guilt? Who among our readers hasn't had a similar situation? I have.  None of us can predict the future, but we know that some of our kids will die. Because of their autism.

Comments

Gayle

How tragic to have to admit that some of our children will die because of their autism due to their unawareness of dangerous situations and the need for so many to wander off. We need RESEARCH into a CURE for our children's autism as we can't allow a whole generation and future generations to live their lives this way. Life with autism is a nightmare for parents and families. Will we ever see an end to this tragedy?

Angus Files

The best restraint we ever got him was his own computer although we tried to fight that off for as long as possible as we didnt want him just to sit at a computer all the time..but needs must when the devil farts in your face...When out and about a mobile phone so he can play a game usually Sharky or Crossyroad..or sometimes his pens and coloring books.When camping we used to have a cord which is used by canoeists to tie themselves to the canoe so they dont loose it if it capsizes , yep! one end on him and the other to us.The house we have has multiple locks and the windows can be locked if needed.How he survived his younger years we dont know and I dont really want to think about all the escapisodes...just glad that lad got back safe.

Pharma For Prison

MMR RIP

Melinda Alleyne

Such a travesty of autism - elopement. It seeks to steal, kill and destroy our kids ... and unless you live it, you can never fully grasp the terror that lives within your heart over the steadfast fear that it will happen again and again and again ... and nothing, no-one can stop it. Because it will .... Sure, you can put in place things like deadbolts, alarms and even tracking devices ... but that doesn't stop the sudden unexplained bolting deadhead into oncoming traffic .... you can use harnesses and hand holding and stare down the condescending stares of strangers as to why your 25 year old son has a "leash" ... but even that only gives you a head start because he is stronger than you and can take the moment to break free that he decides he won't be contained anylonger but wants to run free of restraint. Who doesn't ... we all do. We all need to ... You can set up behavior plans and have one on one aids and services out the whazoo ... but at the end of the day, my son has wings on his feet .... he runs! Not because of anything "bad" ... but because he does. When anxiety is high ... he runs ... When fixations on wanting to make sure all the candy is straight in the store down the street overpowers his thoughts and self-control he runs ... when the baby is screaming in the restaraunt and won't shut up, he runs .... Heck, when he wanted to run butt naked in the wind ... he left our home and he ran because "the air felt good! in the dang middle of the night! .... There are folks who just never understand... I stand judged over and over and over again ... why can't you control your son ...why don't you watch him better, why are you such an inadequate mom ... Yes, I've heard it all ... All I can say, is they don't wear my shoes. God help us all - they know not, but judge with a harsh stick.

Peggy Jaeger

P.S. Peggy Jaeger is aka grandma leg, a long time contributor to several Autism boards. I've been around since 1994-1997 and I'm still..Still.. at it. Omcase any of you have been on such list boards in the past or present.....with a grandson now 22 who is ASD.

Peggy Jaeger

It's hard to educate a public that lives outside the autism/ADD's, etc. Spectrum about these damaged children...or children to adults. It seems that unless they have one to care for themselves,,few understand . And what do those not directly affected get from the News..? They get how it's the parents fault for not getting their kids vaccinated, when they deny that That was the likely cause of the disroreder in the first place..! Main Stream Media has chosen to ignore the truth and run with the side of big Pharma, CDC and AMA denial of responsibility. It seems only we inside the spectrum affected get the truth but are coarraled into our own community. We need a Presidential write in campaign...that goes on..Forever..until the D.C. Gets IT...imo....! I'd send one everyday if others will also....even tho the assistants who first read the emails keep blotting them out or deep 6 them.

Sher Kirkpatrick

This article hits home for me. My 6' 230lbs 34 year old son suffers from his autism and he is an eloper. We bought a house for him with full time staff. He'll storm out of the door, run as fast as he can, then walk for miles and miles. Staff has a hard time keeping up with him. He gets anxiety when he elopes so the way he releases it is by hitting mailboxes along the way. He'll eventually fall on the ground to attract attention so that the public will call 911 and give him a ride to the hospital. I can't tell you how many times he has been in the ER for his anxiety. One fine day when he eloped and hit a mailbox, the police were called. The officer tried to stop him from hitting the mailbox by restraining him, then my son hit him. The officer threw him in the police car and dropped him off at his house in the front yard in the snow. He would not get up. Staff could not get him back in the house and the police officer said it was not his job to get him back in the house. Really? My son has no sense of temperature.
The Police officer called me and informed me that had he not known my son, he would have had no other option but to shoot and kill him. He stressed that his caregivers have no control of him.
I forced DSHS to put him in the State facility that advocates want to closed down. For the first time in his adult life he is safe. He lives on 40 acres with 300 other individuals. They have shared housing, a bowling alley, coffee shop, medical support, he works, he can wander, fall down and it doesn't cause a call to 911 or to be possibly shot and killed. It's not like the mental hospitals in the movie, "One flew over the cuckoo's nest". It's a safe community. Those advocates who want to deinstitutionalize say there is too much abuse at these centers. I get that is a concern, but why shut them down because of it? Make it better. I find his staff is very caring and helpful when I go to visit him. He is much safer and I can sleep at night. Our communities are not equip to handle some individuals.

Bill

Ironic timing! My neighbors young son is "on the ASD spectrum", as they say. Today, he refused to get on the school bus, had a mini melt-down, and the usual stuff. You know. I happened to be outside, and did my best to encourage him to get on the bus, but I wasn't successful at that effort. So, I had to refuse to let him let himself into my apartment, which I've let him do in the past. His Mom was there, and she understands. *BUT*, I did notice that he was maintaining better eye contact, and was clearly responding better to verbal communication. So that's *SOME* small improvement. I know this young boy's parents have used CBD oil, from cannabis, in the past, to help their son. (CBD oil is a cannabis extract which does not contain THC, the group of chemicals which gives the "high".) Last summer, the same young boy was found on the next street over. I helped search, and he was only gone a few minutes. My take-away from this story is that we can ALL do our best to be better friends, better neighbors, and better informed, and more willing to help as needed .So, thanks for the timely (cautionary) story.
Life goes on.... KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK!
(c)2018, Tom Clancy, Jr., *NON-fiction

Grace Green

AnneS, As my condition (M.E., or late onset autism) worsens, I often find I wake up in the night and after a long time I realize I'm extremely hot and have to throw off some blankets. A short time later I'm shivering with cold! Inability to regulate temperature is one of the known symptoms, and even working out which way you are seems to be very difficult. This also seems to be a problem for autistic children.

willie

See what happens you "deinstitutionalization" advocates!? In a developmental center all the medical staff and walls are there to protect those with severe autism or ID. You SJW liberal morons with your "equality and freedom" and those greedy, heartless conservatives teamed up to shut down these safe places that cared for the severely disabled. The teenager in the article would not have been at risk at an developmental institution!

Frederic Chopin

Yes autism can be terrible.

AnneS

"Michael was outside overnight with only a tank top - he took OFF his coat and shirt. Himself. " My child gets hot and cold confused. My child puts on sweaters in summer when it's too hot, and takes off sweatshirts in winter when it's too cold. I never did understand that, but maybe it's why he took off his coat and shirt.

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