Thursday, November 1, 2012

Giving Him Shelter

Bil had quite an interesting last few days.  First, Hurricane Sandy, spending it with his mother at a relative near NYC.  Sure enough, Bil's home (he lives with his mother) lost power so we guessed right in helping his mother find shelter.  But they left Thursday to check on their house, and my mother in law didn't want to impose on that relative any more.  It turns out they were able to stay tonight with a family friend whose power had been restored.  I hope they can stay longer.

As of tonight, the power to Bil's house still hasn't been restored.

My mother in law called NYSEG, their electric utility, for help, and was basically told to call the Red Cross.

Let me explain again why most shelters DO NOT work for individuals with autism, people who depend on routine, and who can't withstand sensory overload very well.  Their hearing and sight is keener than you can imagine.  Some, (not Bil) are non verbal.  Some can't even toilet themselves.

Shelters have many elements that will upset a person with autism. The routine of their lives has already been disrupted. At a shelter, there is no privacy.  There is no true routine.  They get fed and there is a TV. What shelters also have is constant sensory bombardment.  And staff while, well meaning, many times know nothing about autism.  If a person starts to have a tantrum (which may happen with the sensory overload) or starts stimming, they may interpret the behavior as violence, with tragic results.

With the changes in weather patterns, and constant power outages due to storms (several a year now), we MUST find a better housing option for Bil and his mother, whether or not she wants to buy into it. At least we must protect Bil.  She can choose for herself.

But she can't drag Bil into it any more.

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