This morning there is an angel in my garden. She came yesterday, courtesy of Jemma from At Home With Jemma. Thanks Jemma! What a sweet gift, my dear friend.
I have to tell you about a phone conversation I had yesterday.
I called the Autism Network of Oklahoma the other day and got a voice mail. I called yesterday and got an actual person, a woman, to speak with.
I told her that I’d gone all over their website. That it says they are there to help both children and adults. Yet there was not one link that had anything for adults.
I told her I was starting a website/blog for adults with autism, and was looking for resources to put there for adults to access.
And here’s what she said: “I’m ashamed to say that such a thing does not exist in Oklahoma. It’s very sad, and we wish we could change that. But we do all we can trying to get state legislators interested in funding autism for children. And that’s as far as it’s gone.”
I told her I had a recent diagnosis, and that aid/help/resources for adults is woefully lacking. And I really wanted to get info to help other adults out there.
She said: “Tell me about it. I have an adult daughter who is autistic.”
So obviously I was preaching to the choir.
“Well,” I said, “in the natural progression of things, children with autism grow up to be adults with autism. How could that fact have been lying dormant when obviously the need is there? How could an entire system be so woefully lacking?”
She said: “You have to find a legislator who has an interest first.”
I said: “You mean one whose life is somehow affected by an adult with autism?”
She commiserated with me.
I said, “Well, if there’s anything I can do, let me know. I’ll keep looking and digging.” And I gave her ways to get in touch with me.
She said: “There is a conference in Norman, (about two and a half hours away) in the fall. Would you be interested in being there?”
My heart did a little pitter-pat, because gatherings of people are fairly far out of my comfort zone. But the person inside me who is so angry about all those other adults who have nowhere to turn pushed me onward.
I said: “If my daughter will drive me there, I will come.”
She said she’d get in touch with me if she had any useful information.
So I suppose my next move is to start digging, and somehow find an Oklahoma legislator who has an adult daughter/son/ niece/nephew/sister/brother with autism, who needs attended to in some capacity.
It’s not on their radar until it affects them. That’s just how the world goes round. And how government seems to work.
Might be a needle in a haystack. But I’ll start digging.
Any of you savvy readers have any words of wisdom to impart in regards to this endeavor?