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Autism and Work on this Labor Day

Farewell summer
By Kim Rossi

Happy end of summer, friends. How was your three months? Ours was so - s0. Gianna finished school forever. She turned 22 in July. By all rights, she should be working in a full time job after having graduated from a good college, like her Mom 3 decades before her. Instead, I had to have her tested OUT OF EMPLOYMENT by a Connecticut agency so that she could get into a day program. Miss G is smart, funny and in our house, the shining star in terms of her speech, skills, self-care, etc.  But outside of our home, Miss G is fully autistic and frankly unable to work at this time. 

Imagine being GRATEFUL for a letter that says your child is too disabled to work? I was. It meant she had a safe, meaningful start in her day program. I sent her with her older sister Mia. It's not ideal for G, from this I know. She is not as impaired as the other consumers. For the first time in her life, SHE is the most typical person in the room. How about that. I wanted her to have this opportunity to show her stuff. She keeps the calendar (if you know her, I know you're smiling) and organizes the day, while she earns time on her iPhone to watch The Wonder Pets - or at least to look at a photo of the Nick Jr. schedule.  Her team is smart, creative and I really respect and admire every one of them.

Labor Day here isn't the end of summer. It's not the end of anything. We don't have seasons or breaks or times that are easier or harder.  Every day is work for my girls. Unpaid work. Communicating a simple need for Bella. Managing her worry for Gianna. Making sure her outfit is black or pink, based on time of day, for Mia.

We understand in our community. Those outside? Blissfully and willfully unaware.

It's the last day of Summer. Until next summer.

Kim Rossi is Managing Editor for Age of Autism and author of the memoir All I Can Handle I'm No Mother Teresa. If you'd like to hire her for your conference, fund raiser, event to entertain,  speak, rant, maybe rave, about life raising three girls with autism, divorce and other charming events - contact Jamie Brickhouse at The Red Brick Agency in New York.  No, really. LOL!

 

Comments

Benedetta

A different type of gold star family.
A family with three gold stars.

michael

Kim, If money were no object, I would pay for your whole family to walk the halls of Congress and show our elected representatives what autism in America looks like. Show them the tax dollars which the IACC has misspent making sure that there is no funding for prevention or cures. Let them hear from a different type of Gold Star Family.

Anne McElroy Dachel

Thank you, Kim. You’re telling us what the changing face of autism is like.
The Chicago Tribune had a story on my Google Alerts for “autism” today. The title was, Man with autism missing from his home in Austin. http://www.fox32chicago.com/news/local/man-with-autism-missing-from-his-home-in-austin
Actually the “man with autism” was only 19.
The media loves to do this: PRETEND THAT AUTISM ISN’T AN EPIDEMIC OF RECENT ORIGIN.
Every time I see a headline like this it’s always the same, the “man” or “woman” is someone in their 20s.
As Kim’s piece clearly shows us, we’re facing an ever-growing crisis: PROVIDING FOR THE MASSIVE NUMBERS OF AUTISTIC YOUNG PEOPLE AGING OUT OF SCHOOLS ACROSS THIS COUNTRY.
Society today is deluded into thinking that all the autism diagnosed in ever increasing numbers of CHILDREN, never adults, is nothing to worry about.
The clock is ticking on that fairy tale. All the waiting lists children are on for diagnoses and services are just the beginning.
Anne Dachel, Media

go Trump

Labor Day was set aside years ago for those who truly built America, the first society in the world based on the guarantee of a number of “individual Constitution Freedoms” which allowed the citizens and the Nation to prosper like no other.

A number of those Constitution Freedoms have been eliminated ... the 7th Amendment to the US Constitution does not apply to American infants and toddlers which of course, is the root cause of the 25+ year Autism epidemic.

As the “Free American Press” has long been bought out by the billionaires ... it is difficult to see & understand that we are Winning. Onward.

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