I believe we have a national crisis in front of us. Have you heard the expression, “it takes a village to raise a child”? Who is going to care for all of the children with Autism, when they become adults? I can assure you, with the ever growing numbers of diagnosed children, it’s going to take more than a village. It’s going to take every single one of us and then some! It is anticipated, over the next 15 years, at least 500,000 children with Autism will enter adulthood. These numbers are staggering and every bit real. Personally, I think this projection is low, very low. The latest statistics are bouncing around. I have seen 1/110 children to be diagnosed and 1/91. Either way, I am betting, 500,000 isn’t even close, to being, an accurate figure.
I read an article in Parade, it’s called, “Autism’s Lost Generation, Who Will Care for Dana?” Dana Eisman is 20 years old, preparing to graduate from high school. She uses a computer to express herself. Her mother asks her, “What do you want to do next year; what is your dream?” Dana types, “A good job; I want to be safe and happy.” I take a huge deep breath. My heart aches for this family. I feel their worry. I live it too.
There are some fair questions worth asking…. What will happen to the children with Autism when they graduate from high school? Who will care for them? Who will hire them? What kind of jobs will they do and money will they make? Who will protect them? These questions rattle me. I am not only faced with advocating for Alyssa’s education, but futuristically, I will also need to help her prepare for work and independent living. I look up to the sky and say, “God, I need to live forever!!!” I suppose this is an unfair request. Now what?
I have shared with you in a previous writing I want to start a foundation. It’s happening. My goal is to be able to have all the logistics done by the end of summer. I need to do my part. See, I have been incredibly blessed by people who have helped us along the way, who have made it possible for us to afford some of the medicine, therapies and equipment we have wanted/needed for Alyssa. At this point in my life, I am unable to give back to those who have helped us. Unless.... I can take what they have given us and turn that into an opportunity to help other families, like ours.
My excitement supersedes me. I am bouncing off the walls. Sleep is out of the question and I can hardly shift my focus to remember daily tasks. I can’t wait. I want to a part of the solution, a part of the big picture. I hope you will all want to be a part of it too, when the time comes. I have been blessed with Alyssa. She has called me to action. Her love sponsors my energy, so I can do what is needed. I am jumping into the drivers seat and cannot wait to arrive at my destination. Pedal to the metal, it's go time.
Thank you for reading. Have a great week and a Happy Easter! Angie