I'm a parent of an autistic adult. My son, Nathaniel, was diagnosed around 3 years of age (he's now in his 30's), but as I look over some family movies (see March 30, 2011 post) I can see that he displayed many of the 10 signs of autism well before then.

His mother and I had only one thing in mind. What do we do?? In the early 80's there was little we could find about autism (no internet - what a lifesaver now!). We had his immediate needs to worry about. Was there a cure? Did he require medication? Childhood education had not yet come to mind. But with time, we needed to find out what resources were available around us.

Planning usually comes late for parents with autistic kids. We (well his mother and I) worried about his immediate needs and not the future. When Nathaniel reached 18, life as an adult posed many questions.

I hope that this can be a place where parents with autistic adults and children can communicate with those of us who have dealt with autistic adults. Yes, there are books and magazine articles about what to expect, and legal advice, but I have yet to find a place where experienced parents can share these experiences, give advice, and help parents of young children cope with the future of their child.

Nov 23, 2010

Happy Return

With Nathaniel living in Maryland and since we live in Alabama it is always exciting when he comes down. This time, of course, for Christmas. To prepare, his mother, the Holiday Princess, has already finished decorating for Christmas, and it's only Nov 23. Shelley likes to have the house all dressed up by the time he arrives, which will be Dec 12. It is always a challenge with Nathaniel. Since he need full supervision, one of us has to go up to Baltimore to bring him back down. So this year, Shelley flys up in the morning, waits 10 hours for the next flight back to Alabama. About 2 hours before the plane leaves his care provider brings him to the airport (or as Nathaniel calls it, "Airplane!" The real challenge is to make sure that he sits with his mother both ways, but even more complicated is that Shelley must make a one way trip set for Dec 12 and return Jan 14, then two round trip tickets for her with Nathaniel Baltimore - Alabama for Dec 12 and Jan 14. Logistics the army would be proud of.