By Kim Rossi
Next month is Autism Awareness month. Quarantine? COVID-19? I've been Autismtined from regular ed and most of regular "life" for more than 23 years, how about you? CDC in the USA and WHO globally have utterly failed citizens from California to Calcutta. Loss of income these days? Most of us dropped to one income earner in the family. Some literally - as in divorce. The corporate ladder for us is a Little Tykes slide, climb, climb, slide back down to the bottom, try again.
Our expenses are through the roof, not covered, not covered, not covered. Out of pocket. Out of pocket. Out of pocket.
We search for Barney videocassettes from 1997 because our adult kids can hit play and rewind on the Sony Trinitron TV with the built in VCR that we troll eBay for monthly so as to have a spare in the basement.
We drive 3 row seat vehicles so that our kids can be socially distanced while we drive. We've been punched in the back of the head enough times to have learned that a small car is a recipe for disaster.
We lose our breath every time our child bolts, wanders, is out of our sight even in our own homes. Water crashes through the ceiling as a toilet overflows. Bedding strewn all over the room as a rage unfolds. Our respirator? A blessed night's rest, for those who get that gift. An hour of respite for a cup of coffee. A camp for a week.
We keep that minivan long after our babies grow up because we can't afford to repair the car door of every single car we park next to when we bring out our kids. Bang! Bang! Ding! Ding! Scribble another note to leave on the windshield, "So sorry.. my son..." That sliding door is also impossible to open at 70 miles per hour on the highway. That's how we take care of our heart rate.
We don't bother to repaint this room or that hallway because there is no Kevlar enforced paint that can withstand the punches and head bangs. The drywall has been approved for a Purple Heart.
Worry about an invisible virus? We worry about our adult children with their invisible disability like Asperger's every time they leave our sight. Will they hit a social wall, lose friends, get in trouble with the police, keep a job, maintain their mental health amid their challenges.
COVID19, meet AUTISM33.
Born right here in the United States of America. Almost 90 years ago. And we're still quarantined.
Kim Rossi is Managing Editor for Age of Autism.
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By Kim Rossi