A Dad's Journey

Father of Autistic Twins Speaks Out

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Now that I’m well into my 60’s, a great concern becomes the well-being of my autsitic boys (now aged 19) after we go.  These types of articles don’t help:

 

Manalapan Mayor To Gov: Shut Mental Health Facility Down

A private mental health home is infested with bed bugs, cockroaches, has sewage backing up in bathtubs and needs to be closed, she says.

By Carly Baldwin, Patch Staff
 | 

https://patch.com/new-jersey/redbank/s/gwsph/manalapan-mayor-to-gov-shut-mental-health-facility-down?utm_term=article-slot-1&utm_source=newsletter-daily&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=newsletter

Basketball

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Probably no other sport interests my 16 year old twin boys than basketball.

Soccer, no interest.

Baseball, OK they like to hit, but play the outfield?  They’d rather watch grass grow.

Football, they do OK, but it’s a complex game.

Basketball, on the other hand, seems to speak to them.  Put the damn ball through the net.  Yeah, we can do that.  basketball

Now, both Michael and Sean are playing basketball at school Monday & Wednesday.  They also play at a Challenger Youth Program on Saturday Mornings.  And we have a family shoot around on Sunday Mornings.

If only dad could still remember how to put the damn ball through the hoop.

 

For kids who are high functioning, this article speaks to programs that help to match their creativity with possible job careers.

http://www.mlive.com/opinion/index.ssf/2016/08/how_to_nurture_the_creative_mi.html

Horton.jpg

Paul Horton of Detroit is an advocate for adults on the high-functioning end of the autism spectrum. He administers two Facebook pages: It Doesn’t Always Get Better – For HFAs, to raise awareness of the struggles (and positives) of adults with autism, and The Creative Spectrum, focusing on creativity in the autistic spectrum.

I’m always surprised by the number of kind and good hearted folks who do the little things that make life with autistic kids so much better.  Case in point is this story about a barber who broke out of any normal routine to make it work for this young autistic child.  Hats off!

Good question and I don’t think there is a simple pithy answer.  But that won’t stop someone from trying:

A good article from INC. Magazine.  It won’t be long before my boys are looking for ANY kind of employment.  The more local SMBs that can reach out to our kids and recognize their potential contributions, the better.

There is a growing number of adults on the autism spectrum who want to enter the workforce but can’t. Meet the entrepreneurs trying to solve the challenge.

A long time ago, someone told me that having a diagnosis of autism included everyone from Rainman to 1/2 the engineers working for Microsoft.  There are an awful lot of smart, creative researchers who have a touch of the “aut”.  I know that we’ve done away with Aspergers as a high functioning form of autism, it’s all just the spectrum now.   But we need to do more and reach out to the high functioning members of the spectrum.  Their lives have such potential.  And to that, here’s an atricle from todays’s WSJ about a yound lady in Pennsylvania who embodies that:

Diagnosed With Autism at 21—and OK With It – WSJ

NBC’s Dateline program has apparently been working on a documentary on our kids reaching adulthood and the lack of options that await us.  Sounds like prudent, albeit depressing, viewing.

BY KATE SNOW

Nickolas Kubicsko and his family were about to take their first family vacation in seven years.

There was no question where they’d go: The Happiest Place on Earth. Twenty years old at the time, two years ago, Nick had been obsessed with Disney movies since he was a little guy.

WATCH: The full Dateline report on young adults with autism

Pretty cool idea, better than wearing a watch I think.  Would offer some piece of mind, especially if you could track it like an i-Phone.  For example, if you went camping and were able to know exactly what direction to go to find your child.

In 2014, Thierry foundedIndependence Day Clothing, which offers shirts and pants that can help track down a child in the event he or she goes missing.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/02/18/autism-gps-device_n_6705368.html

 

This seems like an excellent use of technology, employing wearable GPS devices to help track the whereabouts of an autistic.  I’ve seen watches in the past but the smaller and innocuous you can make these (inserted in sneakers, etc.) the better.

 

Read more at http://www.inquisitr.com/1756160/autism-speaks-donates-98000-00-to-project-lifesaver/#teIk9oq2poEer0bf.99