After another sleepless night, I sent this letter to the Superintendent this morning to distribute to his teachers and staff. There seems to be mass hysteria in our community about Kevin, my son who is Autistic. I hope he sends it out.
My son Kevin, seems to have lost his dignity in Carpinteria. Kevin is Autistic. Autism is a neurological difference that affects social and communication. Often people with autism say things that come to their mind with no filter. It is difficult for them to lie. They often repeat things they see on television. This causes much misunderstanding. Kevin has never hurt a teacher.He doesn’t talk of hurting teachers. He doesn’t even mention teachers, except for one teacher he had a crush on.
Kevin checked himself into a mental hospital because he was having difficulty with a medication change. The hospital failed to deliver the correct medications and he went into a state of acute psychoses and shouted out some things that now have been misconstrued and taken out of context.
Unfortunately, Kevin confidentiality while in that hospital has been breached.
This has caused extreme consequences for Kevin. He can’t walk the streets of his home town. Someone tried to keep him from attending his job. He attended it anyway because he has the right to have a job, as do all people with disabilities.
You don’t have to be scared of Kevin anymore. We are trying to facilitate a change of placement to a community which will be supportive of Kevin. I will be moving as well. I’m deeply disappointed in the community of Carpinteria. Please do not harass Kevin if you see him on the street and don’t be afraid of him.
When he graduated from high school last year, all the students stood in applause when he received his diploma. The students know Kevin. They accept him. Unfortunately, the adults seem to have the problem.
“I love Carpinteria,” Kevin said last summer. “When I get older can I buy a house and live here all my life?”
“Maybe you’ll live at Palm Lofts,” I say, “Like other artists.”
“Am I a disappointment?” Kevin asked his dad the other day.
“No, Kevin, why?”
“It seems I made so much work for you.”
Kevin will be moving when we find a better place for him. A loving community who embraces diversity.
I thought I would live in this small town my entire life. But I’ll be moving too.
I don’t want to live in a community that is ruled by fear and not compassion.