Category Archives: Mental Illness

The Many Faces Of Autism

I am in love with this crazy, wonderful son of mine. Today was a good day.

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What is Voluntary Placement?

IMG_5782My autistic son Luke was discharged recently after a month in a Washington State King County Evaluation and Treatment Center.  My understanding is these treatment centers are partially funded by the State of Washington.  They do short-stay commitments for clients who present with severe mental illness.  Luke has now returned to voluntary placement, although with extreme changes that include living in a hotel!

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Autistic Son Discharged From Hospital

FullSizeRenderOn 3/1/18, my autistic son Luke was placed in a group home.  Luke is 25 years old and needed more support than his parents could sustain.  I have shared past posts on my blog about Luke  and his life.   It is no small feat to navigate the Department of Social Services  in matters of mental challenges and neurological disabilities.

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Psychosis Or Normalcy

 

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Luke is calmed by the use of watching movies or listening to music with his headset. It works wonders when his autism seems to be making him upset. How many of us do not have autism and are relaxed by music?

(Disclaimer: Original post written 12/2012). When I was growing up, mental illness was shunned.  We did not talk about it in my household.  The first time I was exposed to the  mentally ill was when I visited my two aunts at their job. They were nurses in a mental hospital for chronic patients in Kentucky.  As a young girl of 17, I was immediately drawn into the strangeness of this new world. ( Today a person would not be allowed to visit like I was able).

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A Mother’s Emotional Challenges Dealing With Her Autistic Son

Alesia and Luke in TAHOEHaving an adult son with autism has hard and complicating challenges.  My first time hearing Luke’s diagnosis in 1994 made me numb.  It did not seem real.

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Easy Out

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No easy out- we must stop or we will crash!

 

We need to learn to let go.  We hold onto things way too long that needs to be released.  I decided recently I need to start judging.  Yep.  You heard right. Judge.

After carefully thinking through this, I am judging it all.  How you taste inside me?  What drew me to you?   Where this will take me?  It is true good or bad and now I am OK with judging.  Watch out.  I may prematurely put you to the test.

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Finding Luke


It was 1999 and we lost track of our six year old autistic son Luke.  Prior to this, our church service had just ended.  Luke just began walking and our youngest son was two years old.

The church we attended at the time was meeting in an old building.  My husband got Luke from Sunday School and I went to get our baby.

At some point, Luke wandered off and we went on a wild goose chase looking for him. I was panicked to say the least.

Everyone was leaving the church , except for a few concerned parishioners. It was the craziest feeling not knowing where our son disappeared to.

The church had an old attic that was used for sound checks. It was accessed by a pull out ladder. At some point it was shut, but we kept running around yelling, “Luke! Where are you?”It just did not make sense. 

All of a sudden, I could hear a distant whimper. To say the least a mother knows her child’s sounds. I scurried to have someone open the drop down ladder and low and behold there was our sweet Luke sitting in the dark.

I had not thought of this event for quite some time until I was told recently of the little autistic boy who lost his life after wandering off from his family in PA. These stories are hard to fathom, and even more to swallow.  Yet, we have to.  We have to remember how vulnerable our cognitively challenged society can be especially our children.    Searching for someone missing is a feeling I would not wish on anyone.  Anytime a person vanishes-tragedy can be right around the corner.

I hope this story shows how easy life can change in a heartbeat. In this case, it was a quiet sound of a whimper from my precious son.  It was just enough to help this mom find her beautiful little boy stuck in a dark, damp attic.  My heart still pounds pondering this event.  

Luke was held by me for many years until he learned to walk.