Angel In My Garden

This morning there is an angel in my garden. She came yesterday, courtesy of Jemma from At Home With Jemma. Thanks Jemma! What a sweet gift, my dear friend.



It has been raining, which of course I love for the plants outside. And for me, who loves to hear the sound of rain on the roof and distant thunder in the background.



I have to tell you about a phone conversation I had yesterday.

I called the Autism Network of Oklahoma the other day and got a voice mail. I called yesterday and got an actual person, a woman, to speak with.

I told her that I'd gone all over their website. That it says they are there to help both children and adults. Yet there was not one link that had anything for adults. 

I told her I was starting a website/blog for adults with autism, and was looking for resources to put there for adults to access.



And here's what she said: "I'm ashamed to say that such a thing does not exist in Oklahoma. It's very sad, and we wish we could change that. But we do all we can trying to get state legislators interested in funding autism for children. And that's as far as it's gone."

I told her I had a recent diagnosis, and that aid/help/resources for adults is woefully lacking. And I really wanted to get info to help other adults out there.

She said: "Tell me about it. I have an adult daughter who is autistic."

So obviously I was preaching to the choir. 



"Well," I said, "in the natural progression of things, children with autism grow up to be adults with autism. How could that fact have been lying dormant when obviously the need is there? How could an entire system be so woefully lacking?"

She said: "You have to find a legislator who has an interest first."

I said: "You mean one whose life is somehow affected by an adult with autism?"

She commiserated with me. 



I said, "Well, if there's anything I can do, let me know. I'll keep looking and digging." And I gave her ways to get in touch with me.

She said: "There is a conference in Norman, (about two and a half hours away) in the fall. Would you be interested in being there?" 

My heart did a little pitter-pat, because gatherings of people are fairly far out of my comfort zone. But the person inside me who is so angry about all those other adults who have nowhere to turn pushed me onward. 

I said: "If my daughter will drive me there, I will come." 

She said she'd get in touch with me if she had any useful information. 



So I suppose my next move is to start digging, and somehow find an Oklahoma legislator who has an adult daughter/son/ niece/nephew/sister/brother with autism, who needs attended to in some capacity. 

It's not on their radar until it affects them. That's just how the world goes round. And how government seems to work.

Might be a needle in a haystack. But I'll start digging. 

Any of you savvy readers have any words of wisdom to impart in regards to this endeavor?


38 comments

  1. Brenda, my experience teaching in Oklahoma showed me that parents of autistic students are a very active and vocal group. If there's not something specifically for adults maybe you could wind through the student population and find a support group or social group. I don't know where you've looked but here's one link: https://www.autismoklahoma.org/

    I will look and see if I can find something that might be of interest because I'm sure those phone calls are hard to make.

    By the way, I just realized in the last few days that Jemma is moving to my little city. So excited to meet her in person!

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  2. I have no words of wisdom for you except these ~ GO FOR IT!!! (the conference in the fall) Maybe yours will be the squeaky wheel that gets the oil flowing!!

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  3. it is so difficult to get help. OFten it takes a news story. I know you would probably be uncomfortable with this but you might approach a local news station. xo Laura

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  4. The angel is lovely. How nice of Jemma.
    I agree with Bobbie. Maybe you will be the one to start something! Go Brenda!

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  5. Perhaps this is your calling! This could be epic!!!

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  6. As my sister has told me many times, every dream has a beginning. This may be the beginning of your dream.

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  7. All of the comments are pointing you in the same direction: Be the one with the voice. I know that phone conversations can be hard for you. Use e-mail. Talk to everyone you can, even if it is just the general doctors in town. It's time for the government to realize that the people they represent need answers to tough questions. There should no longer be a disease that is swept under the carpet because it hasn't affected the families of the big money.
    I do love your new angel.

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  8. Lovely angel! You may just be the one to bring this situation to light!

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  9. I have the same angel, via Jemma!

    No words of wisdom, but it sounds like a project made for you.

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  10. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  11. In my state, Michigan, Oakland University has an active program for those who are affected by autism. It is called OUCares. http://wwwp.oakland.edu/oucares/
    Perhaps one of the universities in OK would have something similar?

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  12. I'm just so proud of you for determining to go to this conference. I know you're doing it not just for yourself but so you can pass along what you learn, Brenda. Everything good begins with the first small steps and you are taking the ones that providence brings to you.

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  13. Brenda,
    Angel looks perfect in your garden, I am so happy that you are pleased with her.
    I agree with the majority here-you are bright and articulate-this may be thee project that needs you!
    xo
    Jemma

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    1. Where could I get one of those angels for my garden. I have a angel in heaven, she left us at 17 years old. She would have been 25 on the 20th of July; Miss her a lot as she was my first granddaughter. This angel would go by my rose bush that blooms every year in Nov. and She left us Nov. 7th.

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    2. Colleen,
      I do hope you come back to read this. There have been several ladies that would like to purchase one of these angels- just email me and I will be happy to give you the information.
      jemmaolson@gmail.com

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    3. I have also found these angels on eBay..just type in: Antiqued Weathered Metal Garden Angel Statue...Nancy

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  14. Your angel from Jemma is just perfect in your garden. So beautiful and peaceful out there. When I read your comments I was holding my breath and hoping you would say yes. I'm so proud of you. Autism is like Alzheimer's, we need so much help in that field.

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  15. Brenda, I to have an autistic granddaughter that soon will be an adult, she will turn 19 the end of Aug. I believe that this your calling but prayers will be with you and ask God to guide you and give you the strength you will need to carry this thru.

    Blessing to you

    Colleen

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  16. Duke University has an adult autism division so I agree with contacting the universities in OK,, cant hurt to ask,, also-- ask on facebook, might be lots of folks who could offer some advise.

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  17. Brenda..I know it would be hard for you but if you could attend that conference..who knows what you could add to it or take away from it..Good luck if you go and more good luck in your search for more information Hugs!

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  18. Hi Brenda, Love the angel from dear Jemma. I agree with all that is said here. You could just be approaching on your calling. I so hope you can make the conference and let your voice be heard. I know you have it in you to make a difference. CM

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  19. Love your angel, Brenda. I did find it on Ebay:
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Weathered-Antiqued-Metal-Angel-Garden-Statue-Rustic-Outdoor-Lattice-Trellis-/221761067170
    I hope you can attend the conference. Good luck.

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    1. Sharon,
      This angel cam from The Lakeside Collection or you may find it at LTD Commodities- if you need more information you may email me at jemmaolson@gmail.com

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  20. I think like that too ..................unless it effects someone in their family ~they don't pay any attention. PS- Love the garden angel

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  21. Bravo Brenda you go girl. That is so wrong and you are so right children stricken with autism grow up to adults so why on earth would the programs end in child hood. I hope you go to the conference and someone will hear your voice on this. Love that angel in your garden what a sweet gift. She looks beautiful.
    Kris

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  22. So excited for you Brenda. This is what came to mind: Travail comes before birth....Little did you know when you were going through the pains of the past few years that it might be leading to the birth of a new 'season' for you and others. Step by step....little by little...growth comes and brings new life. BRAVO FOR YOU!!! I hope you can calm that flutter in your tummy and allow your light to shine because you have a wonderful talent for sharing in many ways!!!!

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  23. No words of wisdom, but a word of encouragement... you can make a difference in so many lives. Don't stop! You are doing something amazing!

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  24. Lovely angel, she's beautiful! Hope that you're able to find answers needed soon! You may be the very one to get the ball rolling and help many more autistic adults! You go, pioneer lady! :)

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  25. You go girl - you can do this. Don't give up. Don't let anything or anybody stop you. I'll be one of your many cheerleaders.

    Mary

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  26. Love that angel...so beautiful and so sweet of Jemma to send it to you! Your photos are gorgeous, as always. I'm emailing you a link to a video you might want to put on the site.

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  27. Someone HAS to find the needle in the haystack. It might just be you.

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  28. I don't have anything to offer but encouragement, Brenda. I'm so proud of you for plowing through and trying to help others along the way!

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  29. I think what you're trying to do is wonderful. I hope that you will have good luck in getting more accomplished in this area. I'm wondering if you could contact someone that deals with special education at schools to see if there are some avenues to persue there. They have trained teachers that may have some good contacts for you.

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  30. Defiance College in Defiance, Ohio has a program for autistic adults started by a family in town with a grown autistic son. I am not sure what all the program entails, but they may have info for you as well. It is through the Hench foundation. You May find information through school distri ts as,they are required to make transition plans as they prepare to grafuate

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  31. Trchno challenged here and I also wanted mention colleges with speech and occupational therapy programs, as they work significantly with population.Neuropsycologists may also be a source as they do the psychometric testing for labeling or diagnosing the problem,labeling is for the purpose of placing the child in the correct education category for proper class placement and state reimbursement. Good luck.

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  32. The angel is lovely---I think Jemma is the sweetest!

    You have some choices here...do what feels right. It may take you out of your realm/comfort zone/safe place and that is undeniably scary for some of us and yet very hard for others to see. Take it slow, dear, and don't make any promises until you fell 'right' about it.

    Jane x

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  33. That angel is beautiful... what a sweet gift!

    As far as the road that lies ahead of you - I've found the most passionate and effective advocates are the ones who are walking in the shoes that are affected by the cause. As you said, finding a legislator that has a loved one battling with the effects of autism is a sure fire way to get things done, but I think you are the best advocate. I think you've got a purpose in all of this - that you'll be the voice for the frustrated, who cannot see a way. Your blog is an amazing platform for that purpose. I know that you're embarking on amazing things. I commend you for having the courage to take the lead, when seemingly no one else will....

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  34. You could contact your local paper. They get a lot of stories from the public contacting them so that would not be unusual. You could type up something and send it to them or have your notes and a reporter would come to your apartment. My daughter just did a story on a teacher preparing for the school year and it was done over the phone since she had just had a baby.

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