Letters to the Editor for April 9
Social distancing not new to those with autism
This year for Autism Awareness Month, I had planned to write a different message about autism. Through the help of Family Support council and Bailey Gumm, we had organized an Autism Resource Fair with roughly 25 vendors. We had planned to connect those with autism and their loved ones with available resources in Douglas County. Then COVID-19 and social distancing became the priority, guiding me to deliver a very different message in regards to social distancing and autism.
Social distancing is not a foreign term for those on the autism spectrum and their families. Sometimes social distance might be a preference due to sensory overload, or solitude may be preferred to provide a safe haven to avoid doubts of social acceptance or understanding. Unfortunately, sometimes social distancing happens to those on the spectrum not by choice, but because people simply choose to separate themselves from what they may not understand.
As a mother of a son who has autism, all of the feelings you might be feeling from self-isolation are likely emotions I relate to when life isn’t under COVID-19 chaos. When my son acts in a way which could be viewed as not socially acceptable to some or he might say something which isn’t socially acceptable I have felt frustration, alone, hopeless, fear and down-right angry. As a family we have had to self-isolate, protect and regroup. We would separate or quarantine from the world so we were safe from uncertainty, safe from those who didn’t understand.
All of the feelings you might be feeling right now from self-isolation, I can tell you those on the spectrum can likely also relate. When your brain doesn’t process things the same as a typical brain would, it can lead to anxiety, fear, confusion, and depression. I promise you that many on the spectrum can relate when you feel like your daily routine has been turned upside down. Suddenly everything has changed, and so much information is coming at you at a rapid pace you simply cannot process it.
Although It’s likely the Autism Resource Fair won’t happen this year, it will not fall off the priority list for the team. We had also been working in collaboration with the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office to unveil a special vehicle wrapped in puzzle pieces the symbol of autism. Our hope was the vehicle could be a focal point at the Fair for photo ops and to encourage families to register their loved ones for the Autism Alert Registration Program organized by DCSO. I am happy to say the vehicle will still be out in the community, that is not cancelled! I am thankful DCSO choses to recognize the autism community each year and the importance of possible encounters during emergency situations.
I felt the need to speak about this because maybe when the COVID-19 chaos has lifted and you come into contact with someone on the spectrum, for one small moment you will revisit your most frustrating moments of COVID self-isolation or the change in your routine. For one minute you might remember the emotion you felt during this difficult time, and in that moment, you just might extend a little compassion.
Supporting Tarkanian, Walsh and Tolbert
Before you commit your vote to Dave Nelson or any other candidate that is affiliated with the Good Governance Group do your research. Find the facts, not their propaganda. Do not just rely on their mendacious ads, they are malicious and untruthful.
The GGG and the candidates they are funding want to scare you with big numbers and other scare tactics. Specific members of the GGG are rude and bullies through Facebook feeds and other outlets. Bullying is illegal and I am sure lawsuits will be filed, if not already.
Dave Nelson must not be able to come up with specific facts, since he is not responsive to an invite to debate with his opponent, Danny Tarkanian, on Facebook live debate where specific members of GGG can’t feed him the answers.
We need commissioners that will find solutions, that will maintain responsible growth for our community and will support ideas for diverse economic income for our county. I love the history of this county and its rural nature, but we must as citizens be responsible and vote for the best, most knowledgeable commissioners. We cannot afford another term of Dave Nelson, we can do so much better with Danny Tarkanian. Vote for Danny Tarkanian, he is the best choice to work with Larry Walsh, Wes Rice and Nathan Tolbert.
‘Reflections on the word’ was spot-on
The March 28 “Reflections on the Word” by Pastor Gene Holman of Living Word Fellowship, “Every day should be celebrated as Easter,” was spot-on. Particularly his “major issue” finish.
Fearful of all of the fear these days
We see the expression “No Fear” on bumper stickers and window stickers. It is a call sign of the “extreme” generation – a rallying point for all those who love to “push the envelope” with dangerous activities. It’s exciting, (alarming for us old guys), to watch videos of young men and women go full speed ahead into what looks like certain death … and stand laughing at the end when they come through unscathed.
But “no fear” does not seem to be a part of the present excitement over COVID-19. The single great emotion vibrating under almost every conversation these days is fear. Fear is a healthy part of our emotional makeup. Fear brings needed restraint when we are tempted at 70 to follow our grandchildren … almost anywhere! Fear is our watchdog when strangers approach, our life-coach when the car ahead starts to slide on the ice.
But fear can also cripple normalcy and distort our reason; and that seems to be the effect many of us are witnessing. The danger of disease communication is real, and caution is fear wisely worked out.
Perhaps unknowingly, our nightly TV news reporting seems to heighten rather than lessen fear. It would be a needed gift to our country and the world as a whole if the news organs would drop the ominous orchestra music and just speak as one person to another person. If this is as dangerous as is being claimed, we don’t need mood-manipulating music and theatrics.