This is an awesome video about an amazing guy with autism and his equally terrific aide. Meet Anthony, of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada:
This video made me feel wonderful inside. My first thought was that Anthony is very like my David - David is perhaps a bit more communicative, but he still does many things that are socially considered to be "odd". I'm not sure he'll ever outgrow his behaviors, only time will tell.
My second thought was "Oh, I hope David is lucky enough to get someone like Mike as an aide someday, if he still needs one."
And then I got sad when I remembered that this took place in Canada. Here in the U.S., many of those services are non-existent for adults on the spectrum, and the few programs that are offered depend on State and County-level admission guidelines and funding. They range widely in terms of who they'll accept and what programs they offer, and it's going to be a real challenge for me (and for David) when he's legally considered an adult. In countries like Canada (and several European countries as well), adults with disabilities get these services automatically, no matter where they live or what their income level, and it's often covered completely as far as cost goes.
I just have to hope that in the next ten years, we make the same strides, all over this country. I'll keep fighting for it, every chance I get.