Note: Below is a post I read on Facebook (and got permission to share) that sums up the experience of thousands of autism families here and around the world. Our children, from early intervention to adulthood, are suffering, and therefore, so is the entire family. We will always write from the perspective INSIDE the autism epidemic. Even when it's painful. Especially.
Feel free to share your story in our comments.
Posted with permission from the author:
As this pandemic/shut down continues indefinitely, my family’s overall well being continues to worsen in almost every way. I’m pretty sure most people can not understand what it’s like having two severely autistic young men (18 & 19 yrs old) to raise, keep safe, and live harmoniously with.
They simply can not function without in person therapy, education, and support. They are spiraling into a deep depression and confusion while years of progress are dwindling daily. Crying, biting themselves, and coming after their father and I everyday all day.
Our lives and existence were difficult without the pandemic but this is absolutely excruciating to witness and live with. I understand the reasons why most schools are closed though I absolutely do not agree with a solely special education school completely shutting down. The hybrid program they eventually tried to do, that lasted a few weeks, was only two days per week, with only three students per class. That has since shut down completely.
The fact that these schools do not see themselves as essential workers is beyond cruel and selfish. That’s right, selfish and cruel. They are supposed to be the people that understand this population. There has to be some exceptions and this should surely be one of them.
My sons can’t stay home alone while my husband and I go to work. That means, we simply can’t go to work. My kids need constant supervision. My kids receptive language skills are not high enough to explain why they are trapped at home and not aloud to go anywhere. Staying in this state of affairs is only magnifying the problem.
If we have to continue this way much longer, they will most likely never recover from the damage that is being done. I am past angry. I am beyond sad and disappointed. My spirit is crushed. My soul is broken. I’ll never trust them again. I now know that my children are just a number. Looked at as not important enough to do anything for.