A day of whirlwind activity yet one call makes me stop – prayers requested

Jonathon Lerman "Mother and Child"
Jonathon Lerman "Mother and Child"

We are all interconnected. If you are reading this blog pray for Joshua just as hard as you prayed for Kevin four years ago. Joshua’s family is in crisis. Joshua, a bright star on this planet, has descended into a very sad and lonely place. Kevin was there too. I know how painful it is for both the child and the parents. Debra Hosseini

Jonathon Lerman "Mother and Child"

Jonathon Lerman “Mother and Child”

Today was one of those days that most people would call “pivotal.” Many things that I’ve been working on for years seemed to coalesce. It was a super-busy day with not a minute to spare. Yet there was one important message that brought me back to a time of my greatest despair. Should I return the phone call or ride the tide?

The Art of Autism project has been gaining momentum over the last few months. I believe the main reason is that we are a collaborative organization who will partner with any organization that has the same mission – changing the dialogue about autism and valuing the creative arts and strength-based programming for autistic people.

We reached out to many organizations this week on behalf of the amazing Kelly Green and the Autismhwy.com. Kelly is organizing the fourth annual Autismhwy.com chalk festival in Covina on Saturday, April 12, 2014. This year she has the City of Covina behind the chalk festival. Kelly has many people that believe in her so much that they are flying from other states and countries to attend this event. The amazing artist Silke Heyer is flying in from Germany. Lisa Ligon of Sensory Stars is coming from another state. We are trying to enlist Tim Sharp, Laser Beak Man, from Australia.

The Autismhwy.com chalk festival has a great location in a park with a stage in the heart of old-town Covina. Kelly already has commitments from Dani Bowman of Power-light Studios, Joanne Lara and the Autism Movement Therapy dancers, Keri Bowers of Normal Films, Dylan Aragon a wonderful singer, Linda and Brent Anderson of Unintentional Humor, and The Art of Autism. This will be a signature event that focuses on abilities not dis-abilites.

We are so excited that UCLA Arts and Healing Organization is helping us. They brought on Remo drums this week so we are certain we’ll have an amazing drumming event as well.

Besides the exciting Chalk Event, The Art of Autism is at the November Future Horizons event with Temple Grandin in Glendale, California. Future Horizons is generously giving us a space to show art of autistic artists. How amazing is that! Thank you Joanne Lara for that connection. Lyn, the publicist, wants to promote The Art of Autism and our new microenterprise autcards.com to the Los Angeles Times. Autcards.com is a small business that is managed and run by autistic people – web maintenance, social media, packaging, shipping, and creating the art for the art cards. All the monies go to the artists and the autistic people who are employed by SEEDS in Phoenix to support the project.

With so many amazing breakthroughs you’d think I would be on cloud nine.

That’s not the case. Today I presented to my writing class a very difficult piece about my son Kevin. It was when he descended into the dark pit of mental illness at age 14. Shortly thereafter, Kevin was arrested, placed in juvenile hall, a mental hospital three counties away, and then to a crisis home and a group home. He was gone for over sixteen months. This was the saddest time of my life. I set up a prayer group on Facebook and had many people praying daily. Thank you Olga for being the person who prayed the hardest.

When I read the piece in front of the class, I felt my knees buckle and my hands tremble. My voice shaked and cracked. I love to write. I don’t love to stand in front of a class and share such intimate details of my life. After I read the piece, many people from the class came up to tell me how they were moved by what I wrote.

Hours later, in the midst of emails flying and phone calls ringing off the hook, I received the most heart-wrenching email from a mom whose son is now in the same crisis home Kevin was in four years ago. I’ve known this family for ten years. They are the most loving family I’ve met. Both parents are dedicated to their children.

The mom told me on the phone that she talked to Joshua yesterday after being out of communication for ten days. Joshua is sad to be away from his family. I don’t know if he understands why he is in a crisis home. There is nothing more painful than seeing your child suffer. One of the rules at the crisis home is no visitation for a period of time. hey want the child to adjust to the new environment. Now the parents have to learn to let go.

This made me stop and think what it is really important. It’s not the project, the cards, or what I’m doing. It’s the connection we have we each other. We are all interconnected. If you are reading this blog pray for Joshua just as hard as you prayed for Kevin four years ago. Joshua’s family is in crisis. Joshua, a bright star on this planet, has descended into a very sad and lonely place. Kevin was there too. I know how painful it is for both the child and the parents.

3 Comments

  • Nan Kennedy says:

    Joshua is in my prayers. Debra, thanks for being so open about these issues. Many of us parents have been there, or have been on the verge of being there, or at the very least fear for a future that seems so unstable.

  • I was so moved by this information. I am only slightly involved with an autistic child, as my son has Asperger’s and even though it has its challenges, it by no means as close to the direness of other autistic children. My prayers are with all those in need and I will keep these children and parents in my heart.

    I originally came to this website “Art Therapy Alliance” for therapy for the terminally ill using my art background and getting my masters to further my quest to assist seniors. But I am finding a wealth of ways and means to help others of all ages through this arena.

    Prayers for you all.

  • Will add Joshua and his family to my morning prayer list. Mental health brings such a fargility and ……. What else to say. It just is. Will pray hard. Moyra

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