Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Adults with Autism

I have found it hard to blog lately. I work with 5 men with developmental disabilities between the ages of 20-30 years old.  I have been with them for almost a year and a half.  It didn't take long before I found myself thinking about them around the clock.  I'd be in a store and think, so and so would LOVE this.  Or out and about and think, I should take so and so here.  I worry about them.  Pray for them.  And just overall love them as if they were my own family.  All I can think about when I sit to blog is writing about these 5 amazing guys in my life.  But, there are laws to protect their rights and privacy that make it so I can't just sit and blog about my day.  Understandably so.  But, I wanted to share a little bit of what I do for a living.

My job has a lot of awesome highlights.  The rare moments of sincere affection from them.  Or outings that go perfectly without any behaviors and really excite them.  Most days are more neutral.  I do my job and help keep the house, cook, pass medications, help them shower and practice good hygiene, shop for food, clothes, or other needed things, help work on their personal goals, and nothing drastic happens.  It's normal daily life.  And then, there are those days where I just want to sit and cry.  They can be violent, mean, self-abusing, and/or prone to fantastic tantrums that often times set one or two of their housemate's into their own tantrums and turn it into an hour to 3 hour to all day cycle of setting each other off on yet another round of tantrums.

There's a lot of resources out there for children with Autism.  RIGHTFULLY SO!  Early intervention does more than any medication, later therapy, or operation can perform at this time.  But, they GROW UP eventually.  I work with those who have grown up and moved out of the umbrella they have until they are 21 years of age.  Minus one resident who is 20 years old whom I am watching go through this process as he graduates this upcoming Spring.  Awareness should continue through life!

I found this video today and wanted to share it.  Not only does it talk a little bit about what I do for a living for the time (they're right... I would never dream of doing this as a career with the current system - but I'm grateful life put me here for however long), it helps people be more aware of members of their community who are going through this themselves.

Be understanding.  Be patient.  Don't judge others.  Don't use the word Retard.