Remember when I wrote this about the woman on the other side of the country who sent me an adaptive computer mouse and an amazingly beautiful photo of her autistic daughter with a note about paying it forward?
The universe seems to have weird ways of bringing people together, and today I had another such encounter.
I'm on a local freecycle group...nothing specifically to do with special needs or autism. People request things they'd like to have all the time, and mostly I skim over these posts.
Today, however, a woman requested a list of items for a student. She said the student was going to college/residential program. This was the extent of her description of this young man and yet I *knew* that this boy had autism. I just KNEW it! Even more ironic was that one of her 6 requested items was a printer. I just so happened to have hooked up the new printer my parents sent us for Christmas and was going to post my old one to freecycle within the next day or so! So naturally, this was the perfect fit.
I didn't ask any questions about the student, I just told her that I had a few of the items she needed. I received the following email response from her:
the student in question has autism. he's going to a program in xxxx for kids that need residential/academic support.
he was my high school student briefly and he's living with me because his mom is a drug addicted psycho.
he got a full scholarship for the program through regional center who cares for adults w/disabilities.
Amazing, huh? So I've sent a note to see how else I can assist this boy who has clearly had a tough life and whose mother has obviously had her own tough life to deal with as well. You know, if I hadn't actually walked many days in her shoes, I'd probably call her a psycho too. And maybe she is; but because I can empathize with how difficult this can be, I have heartfelt sadness for her as well. I've seen autism and I have seen drugs, and trust me when I tell you that both can leave you feeling lost and empty. But perhaps that is meant for a separate post? Or not...!