I am glad I am not a set of parents in Arizona today. I am glad I am not the Greens, who are suffering the unimaginable pain of losing their child. I am glad I am not the Loughners, who have likely been struggling to get their child the services he needs, and for whatever reason were unable to do so. There, but for the grace of God, go I.
Yes, we think about it. When Joey melts down and says violent things, we think about it. We could very easily lose him. He could be bullied to death (or worse). He could lose that line between speech and action and do something violent to himself or to others. As we scramble to get others to understand the need for service, the vital nature of those services, the potentially dangerous situations we face, we have these kinds of stories to terrify us into action.
That's not even counting in the autism factor. The autism factor just makes it that much harder to get our child help, because we can't just send him to any social worker with space on her schedule, we need someone who can work with an autistic child, understand his way of communicating and expressing his needs, his unique issues, on top of the angst. We need to find service providers who understand how autism amplifies the issues other children have with anxiety, depression, anger, frustration.
I had an appointment to see a psychiatrist in March, and we were going down the Charlottesville to see them. They cancelled. We haven't managed to get back on the schedule yet, as we sit on the waitlist for a client cancellation. We're not hopeful; it is just too hard to find someone to see these kids, the appointments are too precious. It is insanity.
So today I am thinking of the Greens and the Loughners, and sending them my thoughts and prayers with all my heart.