Siblings

As the father of a now young man with autism, one who has graduated from high school, I believe I know at least some parts of his future. He will outlive both myself and his mom but perhaps not his brother and sister.

Chances are, they will be his caretakers at some point in his life but like everyone else, I cannot predict the future. One thing I am hoping for at some point is for him and his siblings to get along.

At this point, it’s a struggle and that is why when I read this article, it gave me hope that perhaps one day his siblings will write a letter like this to their brother. The article is entitled “It is an Honor to Have You as My Brother” over at Autism Speaks. I hope they will.

Sincerely-

   

Autism Librarian

Reminiscing

So the article I’m posting today is about a place I’m familiar with. It’s entitled “When the ‘Basics’ Are Difficult for My Son with Autism” by Shawna Wingert over at The Mighty. While my son doesn’t know what a CPU is, his knowledge of cars is incredible.

In fact, a few weeks ago I took him to a friends mechanic shop, with the idea that if he knows a lot about cars from the outside, maybe learning about the inside of cars is the next logical step.

Anyway, like the young man in the article, my son couldn’t do the basics at that age but to look at him today, it’s amazing to see how far he’s come. As Ms. Wingert said in her article, my son will figure it out. Until then, he has me. I’m his dad.

Sincerely-

   

Autism Librarian

The next stage

So a week ago my son turned eighteen. This past Saturday he graduated from high school. I have to say, that while I am extremely proud of him, it hit me pretty hard.

I shed a few tears as I sat there, then a few more as I shared the story with friends & family and today, I shed quite a few more when I red this article entitled “Struggling to Find My Role After Placing my Son with Autism in Residential Care” by Kristen Scott over at The Mighty.

While it’s not my story, it’s perhaps a glimpse into the next stage of my relationship with my son. Fortunately I still have a little while before we get there.

Sincerely-

   

Autism Librarian

 

Lens for love

So tonight I’m going to talk about a website that I just came upon called Lenses for Love and the incredible work that it does. I was actually inspired enough by the story I read recently that I applied to be a photographer. I was so inspired that I did this without having a good enough camera to do the job. I am planning however, to get one over the summer. So meanwhile I will wait and see.

Sincerely-

   

Autism Librarian

Looking in the mirror

So the kids and I were watching what are known locally as the Musial Awards. They recognize remarkable individuals and amazing stories of character, kindness, selflessness and integrity in sports.

Anyway, they had one story on college football player Travis Rudolph and how sitting down to have lunch with an autistic young man named Bo Paske at his school became a story that went viral.

During the story, his mom talked about when her son was diagnosed with autism and how she was told by the doctor he won’t ever hold a job, play team sports or even live on his own. What many parents of kids with special abilities hear.

Anyway, as she related that fact to the reporter of the story, my son kept looking at me. Sort of like, do you worry about that with me? I didn’t really pursue the discussion. I guess I just wanted to see if it would sink in with him and leave it for a conversation on another day. One that will come soon enough.

Sincerely-

  

Autism Librarian

Adults with autism

As I read this article tonight and as I struggle to make sure all the supports are in place for my son, for now and for his future, some of what this author says in her article takes me to wondering where my son will be when he is twenty-seven years old.

The article is entitled “When I Say I’m Struggling as an Adult on the Autism Spectrum” by over at The Mighty. I feel like I’m on the right track and it will be from articles like this one that will help to motivate me to make sure my son has as much as I can give him to be ready for the future.

Sincerely-

     

Autism Librarian

 

Letter from dad

I read this article at work earlier today, a letter that for any parent of a child who is autistic, I’m sure hit close to home.  It wasn’t a letter that necessarily stuck an emotional cord with me, perhaps because for me I’ve been on this path for a while now and I’ve made that same stop but, when I read the part where he talks about ‘Holland’, it took me back to  that place once again:

I’m sure that if Christopher were typical (that’s the word we use instead of “normal” in our world of ‘Holland’, for our developmentally delayed children), I would have not had this conversation with him either.

It was a well-written letter that perhaps begs of us to all do that little thing like sitting down next to someone who is by themselves or just say hi! The reality is, we’re all on our own path but for any of us to make it, we need help. As Mr. Cornelius said:

there’s no easy answer for this…at the end of the day it comes down to compassion, empathy and understanding.

I almost forgot, the article/letter is entitled “This Dad’s Heartbreaking Realization That His Son With Autism Has No Friends over at Pop Sugar and continues on at Facebook.

Sweet dreams!

  

Autism Librarian

ABLE update for Missouri

A while back, just before we went on vacation, I e-mailed my state Senator to find out the latest on ABLE accounts in Missouri. According to his aid, it looks like they’ll be up and running in a nine-state consortium starting this fall. They also sent me a link to the Missouri Treasurers page with more information.

I guess my next step is to come up with a list of questions on my options and then talk to a financial advisor regarding what to do for my son. Among those questions will also be one about life insurance as my place of employment is allowing me to update and/or increase my current plan for now and even after retirement. So much to do.

Sincerely-

  

Autism Librarian

Keep on trucking

That’s a phrase that takes me back and while I have no article to post tonight, I think that phrase describes what I’ve been doing for the last few days. I didn’t have my kids this weekend so I just worked on planning for the future of my oldest son (and his siblings).

Working on updating my life insurance while getting prepared with some workshops over the next few months, to open up an ABLE account and a Special Needs Trust because that’s what dads do for the kids with special abilities (and their siblings). Oh yea, and that’s what we librarians do, research.

Sweet dreams!

  

Autism Librarian