Parents are routinely mocked and demonized for seeking to cure or treat their own children. ABA, well documented as an effective intervention for autism by decades of study and numerous credible professional reviews is labeled as "unproven" by anti-ABA advocates. Terms such as low functioning/high functioning used in the professional literature are disparaged. Mentioning possible environmental contributors to autism rates is dismissed by some even though studies show that autism can sometimes occur in one but not both identical twins. Even referencing autistic disorders as .... disorders... generates controversy.
But surely there is one point on which we can all agree; that everyone wishes for the safety and well being of all autistic persons. And surely we can all be thankful when news reports tell us that that two autistic persons are now safe and sound after wandering away from their homes in Utah and Boston.
The Deseret News reports that a 22-year-old severely autistic woman, described as having the mental capacity of a 5 year old, who wandered away from home in Provo Utah Sunday night was found safe Tuesday morning in Salt Lake City. In Boston, earlier this week, the Herald reported that a 3-year-old autistic child was rescued from danger by police after drivers saw him riding his tricycle amid speeding traffic on a busy thoroughfare.
As a parent who has experienced the fear and guilt of realizing that my autistic son had wandered away from the safety of home while I was distracted those feelings are revived every time I learn of another autistic person who has wandered away or is missing. The feeling of relief I experienced when, after calling 911, I learned my son was safe at a nearby convenience store where I quickly retrieved him, also resurfaces when the stories have good endings as they did this week in Utah and Boston.