ABCs of Behavior: Think long term – “What will it take in the adult world?” (draft subject to revision)

Families of children with autism, especially mothers of teenagers, were on social media during and after a Dateline NBC story about adults with developmental disabilities. One mother posted that these children have “what appears to be a pretty dismal future.” Another said “our kids will be just ‘in storage’ and regress. Someone replied that schools could be taking children into the community all day but that the community needs to fund adult programming, embrace inclusion of our kids [i.e., adults]. The original poster commented: Too many of the problem behaviors that our kids will have as adults could have been prevented. This piece introduces the dilemma: school safe, or community-ready?

My hasty reply in the post-Nightline discussion was: I’ve been working on preventing behaviors for a long time. It involves taking risks.

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Loss, Silence, and Sharing the Burdens of Grief

How have you handled personal loss? Do you feel better in the company of others at first, or is your impulse to recede? As the first anniversary willow engravingapproaches, do you change course; do you share memories of your loved one, or observe rituals? How can you help someone you love share the burden that your mutual loss represents?

Now ask yourself the central question of this blog – Since you are the more able communicator, how does that scenario change when you involve children, elders in decline, and cognitive or developmental disability?  The grief that comes from a close, personal loss is not a pond that evaporates. It’s a wetland, a murky swamp that doesn’t disappear when it subsides, but fills back up in rainy season. When the loss is very dear, long-buried grief reemerges at awkward times to be re-experienced by you and other survivors throughout life.
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