By Kim Rossi
This was my memory from Facebook, TEN years ago.
Doorbell just rang. A little boy who rode the sped bus with Bella 2 years ago was at my door, clutching a doll. Alone. I knew instantly he had wandered from his house about 1/8th mile away, but on the highway. I walked him home. His sister said "Mom is sleeping." Cousin (mid teens) was really concerned. "We didn't see him leave." I told them better me than an ambulance or a cop delivering bad news. He knew "Bella's house." God bless the little guy. And his guardian angel for getting him to my house and not the RIVER across the street or the highway.
I wonder where this boy is today at age 18 or 19? Wandering will always be a worry for many of us. Cameras and door chimes help. But we are human. We have less wandering in my home than in the past now that the girls are women in their 20s. Once, one of my girls left the house and was busting uphill toward the end of our road, which was, at the time, right at the end of an exit to a 4 lane highway. I was calling out to her, "Stop! Stop!" She kept going. A man was walking his dog, and I screamed at him, "Please stop her!" He watched her motor by him without a care. I was so angry. I ran as fast I could, I tripped and fell, I kept going and snatched her to safety. I said nothing to him as we walked by him, on the way back home. I knew I'd have blown my stack. He was a neighbor. HAH! We can NOT rely on strangers. Despite decades of awareness - no one really has a clue about autism beyond the once in a high school career prom "date" and other feel good, do nothing stories. And now we're onto "acceptance." It's a joke. Not even the day programs whose MISSION it is to serve the disabled population want the young adults with a high LON score - Level of Need. That means behavior. They are being turned away here in Connecticut even with decent budgets from DDS of $55,00 - $100,000 a year. They LOSE money for organizations. The State privatized care years ago, closed their facilities. And now? The doors are CLOSED.
Kim is Managing Editor, Chief, Cook and Bottle Washer of Age of Autism.
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By Kim Rossi