September 7, 2005

The efforts of Unlocking Autism have grown to include most of the national autism organizations and they have now set up a central web site to corrdinate the project.

If you have a house or services to offer, please register it there.

If you are interested in helping us out with families reloacating to Los Angeles, please write to me at

Here is the latest from Unlocking Autism:

After speaking with state officials this morning, we have learned that in the state of Louisiana alone, early estimates indicate that there are a minimum of 900 children with autism that have been displaced and that is simply based on the number of children in public schools. The five parishes in Louisiana that were hardest hit by Hurricane Katrina were homes to more than 1/3 of the children in Louisiana with autism. Those parishes include: St. Bernard, Plaquemines, Jefferson, Orleans and St. Tammany.

900 Children

This only accounts for children ages 3-22 in the state of Louisiana diagnosed with autism and does not include any child in a private school, home based educational program, under the age of 3 or any adults.

The needs here are massive.

The thing that we have realized over the last 48 hours in counseling families is that the trauma is overwhelming. They are in shock. It is difficult to get them to focus on the fact that they need shelter, clothing and food and water before they even start to think about schools and therapists and everything else that comes with having a family member that has autism.

We cannot tell you how much we appreciate everyone wanting to open their homes to help relocate these families. Please be patient with us. Many of these families that we have talked to want to stay in the area to see if they can eventually get back to their house to see if any photos survived or their grandma's necklace or something.

We have many state agencies that are working to help us identify families as they come.

We just wanted to send this information out to you as our community today so that you would understand that magnitude of this situation.

And the thing that is boggling our minds is that this does not include the number of children displaced in Mississippi or Alabama as a result of this catastrophe.

Unlocking Autism


Jef said...

You look so YOUNG and BOYISH in your photo!

Ginger said...

Everyone lies about their age in LA. I just thought I would take it one step further.