Why am I doing this?

Repeatedly, as I have been talking to parents, caregivers, and others who love someone with autism, I have heard that there is no good place for adults with autism in Georgia. Parents are afraid to die, for fear that their children will end up in this "no good place". Where do children with autism go when they grow up?

As the parent of an autistic teen, I want to explore the options for adult living arrangements for those with developmental disabilities.

Please feel free to contact me by email if you would like to weigh in on this subject.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Disappointing day in Augusta

On the way to film at Gracewood, I hydroplaned off the expressway into an embankment about 20 miles from the hospital.   I was not seriously injured but my car was not driveable, so I missed the filming.   The rest of the day was spent trying to get back home.    I also had to miss an interview scheduled with a psychologist who is an expert on autism.     That has been rescheduled with the aide of my colleague, Blair Rinn.    Thanks Blair!!!

Sunday, April 10, 2011


I visited the campus of Gracewood Hospital and did a bit of filming with the family of a Gracewood resident.   I am learning a great deal about a recent settlement between the Justice Department and the State of Georgia, which would move most of the developmentally disabled patients out of Gracewood and similar facilities.   My concern is that there do not appear to be enough suitable places for the disabled once they leave Gracewood.   
I will be filming inside the hospital next week, as I have been invited to a meeting being held there and also might be able to attend a clinical meeting there with the parent of one of the residents.   It is an amazing opportunity and I am so thankful to the family who allowed me into their lives.   Thank you Ann!  

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Families in Crisis

I am going to be talking to families in crisis this week and will, most likely, be in Augusta for part of the week.   There is a State Hospital there called Gracewood, which houses hundreds of medically fragile people with developmental disabilities.   Parents with children there are very concerned that the hospital will close and there will be no place at all for their children to receive treatment.   Some of these individuals are on respirators, so it would be virtually impossible for them to be cared for in a family home.   I have contacted some community leaders who are going to help me navigate the Gracewood issue and understand all the factors at play.    They are amazing and I have no idea how they keep their energy up with all that is on their plate. 

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Georgia Transition Conference

I attended the Georgia Transition Conference at Mercer University and met some great people.     There were parents of children with developmental disabilities, and many of them had grave concerns about the futures of their children.   

I met an attorney who helps families with estate planning for their loved ones with autism, as well as a representative from MetLife, who helps with financial planning as well.  Both of them seem to be very compassionate and invested in helping families affected by autism. 

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Developmental Disabilities Day at the Capitol

The organizers of the rally were extremely helpful and generous with their time.   I was introduced to a man with autism who will probably end up being a very big part of this documentary.   His parents have both passed away and he is now on his own, sometimes feeling quite lost.   This is the other side of the coin of the parental concern of what will happen to our children when we are no longer there to offer love and support.

I was unable to stay for the rally, due to my school schedule, but it was definitely a worthwhile visit, since I made a lot of contacts with people in the DD community.

Special Thanks to Scott!