I really should have posted about Kristina Chew featuring The Autism Corps on Autism.Change.Org two days ago, when the post first went live. Kristina gets why the Autism Corps idea is so important, because her son Charlie is similar to Leo in many ways -- both of our beautiful, smart, boys have the kind of autism that requires supervision and support all day long, every day. I am grateful to Kristina for putting her shoulder to our idea.
I didn't post immediately because Leo is out of school from now until August 31st, and I'm fully immersed in the structured and intensive parenting required to help my son navigate all his free time, necessary to let him anticipate his day, and critical for keeping him from getting disoriented or upset. Leo's parenting takes precedence over my blogging.
Don't misunderstand me -- Leo and I are having a good time, hiking and swimming every day, and Leo is as happy as a boy whose communication challenges make him completely dependent on others can reasonably be. I'm not a champion organizer or a fast writer, so right now parenting, hiking, and swimming are about all I can do without siphoning from the sleep reservoir -- which I swore I wouldn't do during Leo's summer gap. It's not fair to Leo (or his sisters, or my husband) to spend weeks coexisting with a grumpy, enervated zombie.
And this zombie is one of the lucky ones. Seymour and I share parenting duties, and he's even been letting me have some extra morning time, because he knows that's the only free time I'll get until the kids go to sleep. Leo receives twelve hours of respite each week (he probably considers it respite from me during the summer gap), which I try to split between parenting the girls, working, and making our house less hovel-like.
If I have all that support and back up and I'm this tired, how must the parents who don't have shared parenting and respite be doing? I'm guessing they could use something like The Autism Corps. I know I could. I know my co-conspirator Jennyalice could. I know Kristina could, as could many adults on the autism spectrum.
Please, don't forget to sign the Autism Corps petition:
And if you're a fan of Kristina & her blog partner Dora's work on Autism.Change.Org, please let the Change.Org people know. Autism.Change.Org is an unparalleled source for autism news, perspectives, information, and advocacy -- there is nothing like it in the Blogosphere -- and its loss would be a blow to our community. Take action, write in, direct message the Change.org people, support Kristina and Dora, now. Thank you.