Friday, November 2, 2012

Hurricane Sandy: Autism Experiences, How to Help

Were you affected by Hurricane Sandy? How are you doing? If you were not affected personally, do you know someone who was? If they are autistic, have you checked in on them? Do you know of additional ways for non-locals to help out besides donating to the Red Cross?

Update 11/3: The sites Sailing Autistic Seas and Love That Max have put together lists of resources for our communities, please share widely (some are family-focused, others are all-ages, if you know of anything they've missed, please let them or us know. -SR)
Here are three on-the-ground reports from autistics and autism families. If you know of other stories or want to add your own, please do so in the comments.

Carol Greenburg @AspieAdvocate tweeted her traumatizing but necessary trip into Manhattan from her Brooklyn base:
  • Autistic heading into Soho with autistic son. Both physically OK, but both struggling with meltdowns sirens, disruptions, flashbacks.  
  • Many hurricane-affected autistics don't have support son & I do, pls donate, check-in w/ esp. vulnerable, poor, ppl w/ disabilities
  • Just crossed Brooklyn bridge onto no-longer flooded FDR drive. Can still write, but have lost my speech. Will keep tweeting.
  • Know from experience that no meltdown lasts forever. Will keep tweeting thru this 1. Son is singing to self-regulate. Smart kid
  • Our primary chore is on upper east side. Will avoid Soho. Just as well. Gallery we own is fine. Don't need to get in way of responders.
  • Travel restriction in NYC causing bottlenecks. Autistic Son singing a about going faster, Funny & calming. Kid knows how to cope
  • As always, now that son has self-regulated & is now calming me. Tnx to husband & son getting my speech back. I'm HFA? Really?
  • My meltdown now over, thanks to husband, autistic coping-strategy-genius son & NY's bravest directing traffic while traffic lights are out. 
  • Am back in Brooklyn. Know I'm going to be OK cause I always am. Know son is going is going to be OK cause he always is.
  • Autism has its challenges, but to me hurricane is a disaster. My autism isn't.

Kristina Chew, from Craziness, Normalcy, Irony, Water
"Jersey City is now under a lockdown from 7pm till 7am, the National Guard drove humvees through the sewage-watery streets of Hoboken, and the beach island (that Charlie so loves that we had to stop visiting it this past year because it was too hard to come and go) is a mass of sand piles, broken boardwalks and beach houses, and a roller coaster in the ocean. This is a common scene in our town and throughout New Jersey.  

Jean Winegardner, from After the Storm There Are Pumpkins
Hey, friends. I hope those of you on the East Coast are safe and dry. We’re okay. our power stayed on (knockonwood! knockonwood! knockonwood!) and we seem to have gotten by with only a little bit of water in the basement. Because our power generally goes out quickly, we rarely get to watch storm coverage on TV. It looks like it was a scary night for so many of you. I hope you are all okay. My heart and best wishes go out to all of you.