Welcome to Raising Autism
This website is intended to be a "nuts and bolts" website about raising an autistic child to adult. Things I wish I knew before the autism adventure and could easily find in one place.
This website will try to be a cheat sheet for all the situations, costs, legalese, and agencies you will probably come across or have. It is hard enough raising a kid with autism and having to spend time figuring everything out. Sadly, many parents with a disabled kid are single moms and do not have a lot of resources or time. My intention is to try to ease the burden both by having core information readily available, and helping to reduce costs. Also we all worry about our children's future. It is a big burden in which we must band together to ensure the future of children with autism.
While the website's main focus is on children and adults with autism, most of the information is applicable to all people with disabilities.
It is starting out based on my experience with my own child. We have been through a lot of different situations with our son. You name it my son Thomas has done it: things like running away 45 miles from home using two modes of public transportation with no money, running away and hiking 9 miles crossing two state highways, hand cuffed in the back of police cars, being banned from schools, kicking out a third floor window and trashing a hotel room, breaking bus windows, escaping from schools and buses, spending months at a time in psychiatric hospitals and wards, in and out of crisis homes, highest level group homes, and at a residential out of state school, etc. This list goes on and on. You can read about it in "Operating Instructions for Thomas".
The website is still in development. The pages that are "done" are highlighted with a hyperlink and can be accessed either throught the below hyperlink or in the menu above.
*Any references to agencies and laws on this website are to California. Other states will have similar laws and agency structures though this can vary widely. I would be happy to make webpages referring to other state laws and agencies as people supply them to me. Also any contribution people want to make to the website is welcome. Contributions should keep within the intent of the website as explained up above.*
As autism is a spectrum so is each individual situation, family, and solutions. It is impossible to say this will work with your child or compare situations. The truth is that it is your child/adult, your situation, and it is hard and real because you are going through it. It is easy and probably correct to feel alone even if you have many people around you that have children with autism and are supportive, and understand, but your situation goes on and on. We feel like we just go from one crisis to another with little bits of calm in between.
The use of "child" throughout the document means either "child" or "adult" because this website is targeted to parents and our children will always be our children. As my mom used to say, "How did my children get so old?"