Long Gone Dan

For this weeks blog post I’d like to share another story.

This one occurred around 2004 in the summer. Once again my family and I were camping in the Colorado mountains some where. The sun was warm and a pleasant breeze carried through out the tree tops. My parents and I were playing cards inside our pop-up and Daniel was playing in the dirt outside.

After a couple minuets had passed we checked up on Dan and he was gone! Astonished and worried we each began to look for him spreading out in each direction. Calling and calling his name our cries echoed throughout the mountain range. Many people stopped what they were doing and began to help us search. Eventually, one of these people found me and took me to where my brother had disappeared to. He was approximately a mile away from our camp site.

Once with him again I remember feeling him shake and seeing the discomforting fear that was painted across his face. It was a scary experience for all of us. But this does bring about some interesting ideas and questions, like why did he wander off? Unfortunately, Dan is non-verbal so we may never know why. But something we know for sure is that he wandered away and became frightened at the fact that he was lost. Also, that his solution to his problem was to keep treading forward till he found home.

These are all very reasonable responses to his predicament and it serves as a reminder that kids and adults who have A.S.D. are NOT empty shells. I read something once in an Autism magazine or somewhere that I’ve always held very closely to myself that reminds me of this notion. It went something like…

“Something has come between us…
Between You and Me…
Bright lights! Loud noises! Hurts my head. I hear you-but can’t listen. I see you-but can’t look. You call for me-but I can’t move.
I am alone in here.
You think I’m lost in my own world.
….But I am here.”

-By Author Unknown

In particular that last line is something that really strikes me. They aren’t empty shells of people they have feelings and emotions and they are not something that should be ignored. It’s Autism awareness month and I think keeping these things in mind would really help the cause, to share and to spread understanding and knowledge.

***Wear blue April 2nd to show support!


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