It's the day after our families BIG debut on the front page of our local newspaper (see post below). We've received supporting email and of course comments here, (thank you) also a bunch of t-shirt sales on our website. Still none in Utah yet! ; )
Our reporter and photographer were here for two hours doing the story, which again was done very well. Unfortunately, they can't include everything we talked about, so I'd like to bring up a few things that we feel are important that was left out.
There were 3 things that got our stress level to the point where it resulted in our children being taken away by the state (S.T.I.N.K.S. : State Took Innocent Non-NT KidS) for 2 weeks.
1) Our Finances: bottom line we are dirt poor. As the story mentioned I lost a previous job, it paid well, it had insurance, we weren't poor then. But now with the need to take off 1, 2 or sometimes 3 days in a pay period...makes it tough. We do get SSI for 3 of the 6 children, got denied on the other 3, not 'disabled enough'. But that has just put us back to the annual pay of the previous job. End result: finances are a bit better then before S.T.I.N.K.S.
2) Respite: rest, a break from the children for Mom and Dad. The two that are 'Classic Autistic' get state funding for respite. At first when we received approval we were ecstatic! Then we were told the respite was for THEM only, none of the other four could be watched. So we use the help to pick up after the wreaking ball "The Destroyer", and other help around the house. We are VERY grateful, but it's not a break from it all. End result: About the same as before S.T.I.N.K.S.
3) The House: 3 bedroom, one bath, no basement for us eight. Right around 1200 sq. ft. We rent so it's not ours to do with what we need. The two older boys share the bedroom with our pantry shelves. Made that into our 4th bedroom. We'd like to buy a home, but the credit has taken a beating and we don't have enough income now (see #2). Extreme Home Makeover you ask? The rules are you have to OWN the home. End result: not much changed here either then before S.T.I.N.K.S.
Anyway, enough of that, need to take a few hits of Mom's Zoloft if I keep this up.
We picked up ten copies of the newspaper, hey! it's not everyday your family gets on the FRONT page. As I was getting rid of the other pages, I noticed that on the page just before the inside pages of our story, was a full page an ad for "Ivory Homes". Nice... new... BIG... homes that would fit our families needs. Hmmmm, dang it, where is that ZOLOFT!?
We would like to set up a non-profit something like the 'Make-a-wish' organization. The "Autism Bites Foundation". Families devastated emotionally and financially by Autism need help. Does any one know someone that can help us realize this dream? We'd like have an "Autism Bites" parents support group in every state also one day soon. How do parents become a member? Wear one of our t-shirts to the meeting and tell 'war' stories about your kids and cry and laugh with each other.
Angie, our news reporter, emailed to say that the story has already generated a bunch of interest. The Bottom Line?: If we can do some small part in making life a bit bearable for other Autistic parents, well then that would be a good...no a GREAT thing!
Love your kid(s), even if they don't notice you in the room. Even when they still use diapers at 9 yrs old. The best way to love your children? Love their Mom, or Dad. Don't give up, take a break, even if it's only in a locked bedroom for a hour or so.