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Living with Autism - Page: 3 of 12

At the end of August 2001, my wife left Hamburg, Germany for the USA. She was to return on September 19, 2001. September 11, 2001 the world experienced the historical incident of terrorism in NY and Washington, DC. There was no flight overseas at that time. She decided to stay in Baltimore, MD and started working. She was realizing the hopelessness in Germany for Alex, her and me.

Now I was alone with Alex. He grew from 5´9" to 6´2" by the time we left Germany to the USA. I was over whelmed. The civil duty time was shortened to 9 months duty all together by the German parliament. At the end I did not even had the time to find a new one-on-one aid, only had a friend to do my daily shopping. The 20 hours of the so-called free time consisted of shopping every day. Alex was eating big time, I had to go shopping daily, Mondays through Fridays, keeping the food inventory low, he would tear up the refrigerator otherwise. I had to take care of all other business matters, etc. I had to cook before he came home. Result: No time for myself. Weekends, Christmas and other holidays, work, work. I did what I had to do to keep Alex happy. The stress was unbelievable. This is hard to understand, unless somebody has to walk our mile.

In November 2001, my wife got me in touch with the Kennedy-Krieger Institute in Baltimore, Maryland. My wife wanted Alex and me to come to Maryland. Thinking about our last flight from LA to Germany, the difficulties we experienced had me doing a lot of thinking and preparation to handle the flight. Alex´s doctor, Dr. Wiencke was informed about the trip.

His thought was that it is almost impossible for Alex to handle the flight back to the USA. At this point I like to mention that I had to take a lot of physical punishment from Alex, plus other destructive behaviors, when he did not return from the USA to Germany. We got it together at the end, with a lot of love, spoiling and discipline. I asked Alex two questions. First, if he wanted to be back with mom. He nicked ´yes´ (Alex does not have verbal communication). Second, if he wanted to get help to get better. He nicked ´yes´. At the beginning of February 2002, Dr. Wiencke and I met to discuss the flight. He was reluctant, but Alex and I were determined to make it back to the USA to be with his mom. There was no hope in Germany. I would not put my son in an institution in Germany or group home with no direct one-on-one help. Dr. Wiencke prescribed Diazepam-ratiopharm drops. We were testing it out on the weekend. It worked some how. In autism you never know if it will work the same as on other people.



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