Sunday, September 11, 2011

Autism and Taking Refuge from Flood in School

Today, I got back into my evacuated neighborhood, evacuated Thursday due to flooding caused by former Hurricane Lee.  But an autism advocate I have written about before, Sally Coletti, is still not able to move back into her home.  She lives in one of the areas that has been heavily, horribly impacted by the Binghamton area flood.

She isn't the only one with children with autism that has been left temporarily homeless by the flood.

One thing that has been disrupted here is school.  For children with autism, school is part of the routine of their daily lives.  When there is no school they aren't happy because their routine has been disrupted.  To children with autism, a good school placement is like a lifeline.  And our area is blessed to have a great autism school placement for those functioning highly enough to be part of it - the Oak Tree Program.

But what happens when students are in shelters?  Can the school buses run?  (I've blogged a little before too about the fact that people involved with shelters rarely have training to be able to work with children and adults with autism - causing an extra nightmare for those families.)

I don't know if Sally Coletti's school district will be open tomorrow, or where her family has taken refuge. But if I know the Oak Tree program, they will make sure their students can return to school.  Even if those students can't return to their homes.

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