It's a start
I wanted to start a dialogue about autism. About how it seems that the general population turns a blind eye to this condition. I am not sure if it's because people in general seem to only focus on things in their lives that affect them, but also because autism is a spectrum disorder and while some people need a lot of help in their day to day lives, others can function in society without any help or very little without anyone even knowing they have autism.
But for the families that have been touched by autism to the point where they will always need help, it is a lifetime of worry.
If you have children, I want you to think back to when they were 5 years old, 10 years old. Remember the things you worried about? Now imagine your child staying that age intellectually indefinitely. The only difference is now that Max is 23, he is an adult in the eyes of the law. So, if he were to do something because he doesn't know any better, he could be arrested as an adult. When we are out in public and Max has to use the restroom, I always go with him. Even at 23 I still have to tell him to lock the stall door. Parking lots are still a high stress area for dad as he still never looks to see if cars are coming and a trip to the gas station still solicits a request for something to drink every time. I would give just about anything to be able to have a conversation with him and explain things and to have him actually understand what it is that I am trying to explain.
I knew a woman out in California that had a brother with Autism. She told me this story and it scared the hell out of me. He was in his 40's and would travel by bus to Sacramento to visit his father. On one occasion he was on the bus when an African American woman got on, wearing bright red lipstick, which as it turned out was one of the things that made him excited. well apparently, he was unable to control himself and began to have "happy time" with himself. Several of the passengers noticed and to make a long story short, he was arrested for indecent exposure and had to register as a sex offender from that point on.
This is just one instance of the life of being an autism parent. It is a 24/7 job. It is our mission to provide those with developmental disabilities a safe, loving environment to live but beyond that I want to help raise the bar in many areas of the autism world. There are so many groups out there that are getting the help they need while the autism world seems to be left behind when it comes to funding, services and support. At A Place For Max, we will do everything we can to change that.
If you are new to the world of autism and looking for answers here is a good place to start,