Dillon is a happy thirteen year old young man with significant behavioral challenges who recently moved to a group home. His mom Sara shares their story with us today.
Lynn: What led to your decision to seek out of home placement?
Sara: I felt that out of home placement was something that would happen around age 18, but for us it came five years earlier than I had expected. My son Dillon is non-verbal, and a joy all the time, except for when he was screaming and biting himself, and later screaming and biting himself while attacking me. It was hard to determine the precise point at which my own lack of sleep and lack of ability to care for him got to be so profound as to be dangerous for him, for me, for our mother-son relationship, for my other kids. When ordinary life is hard, and it continually gets more difficult in small increments, it is impossible to remember that there might be a line, let alone know when you have crossed it. And when other people tell you that you can’t handle this, it is easy to defend all your choices, defend Read full post »
As my own child transitions to young adulthood, I look to those who have gone before me for guidance and support. In this week’s blogs, we discuss out of home placement from a parent’s perspective. Two veteran parents, Joy and Sara share their stories with us this week.
Audrey is a beautiful teenager with ASD who is also deaf and has a history of significant behavioral challenges. She recently moved out of her family’s home. Her mom tells us how the family is doing.
Lynn: How is Audrey doing since she moved to her group home. How did the adjustment go? Was it easier or harder than for her than you’d thought?
Joy: The transition for her has been remarkably smooth. I had lots of scenarios in my head before she moved – from complete disaster (she’d be upset and distraught all the time and unable to calm) to very Read full post »
Today’s blog is written by Ben Moore. Ben, age 26, recently shared his insights about life with autism at Seattle Children’s Autism 200 class in November and we couldn’t get enough of his honest, heartfelt answers. Today he shares a little more.
What is it like as an adult living with autism?
Like, how do I even answer this? Let’s see… It’s hard at times. Sometimes there’s too much loud noises. Sometimes people speak too fast – their language gets scrambled and jumbled when I hear it. When I speak, often times what I intend to say is not what comes out of my mouth. Most times it’s hard to sustain my attention for prolonged periods. I can be blunt and easily hurt others’ feelings (I try really hard not to). Read full post »
Cheers to 2014!
Participants from a Cooking Level III class at the Alyssa Burnett Adult Life Center
While the rest of the world buzzes with excitement today, making plans for the evening, reflecting on the days behind us and raising a glass to what the bright New Year may bring, today I have a different vision of what it is we should be ‘cheers-ing’ to. Naturally, we are all compelled by the freshness a new year brings; new horizons for being better, having a clearer focus, ridding bad habits and welcoming new opportunities.
Last night, as I sat down to reflect on my year, the celebrations, hardships, people and things, that made it so rich and beautiful, my staff sent me a Ted Talk called, ‘How autism freed me to be myself’, featuring Read full post »
A Day in the Life at the Alyssa Burnett Adult Life Center
Today marks the first day of fall quarter classes at the Burnett Center and that ‘back-to-school’ buzz has been circulating throughout the center all morning.
As I walk down the hall, I greet new and returning participants – adults with autism and other developmental disabilities – here to learn something new and be amongst peers. Beloved instructors are returning and new ones are here too, eager to bring their expertise and fresh ideas to each classroom.
At the beginning of each music class, the instructor often asks each participant how they’re feeling that day.
Today, a common theme is happy. Read full post »