September 7, 2005

Katrina: Missing Autistic Children

13 Year-Old Girl Missing

From CNN:

Megan Carter is 13 years old, unable to speak, and was last seen with her caregiver Linda Jones in Kenner, LA (Near N.O. Intl Airport). Megan is non-verbal, and not toilet-trained (wears pull-ups). She cannot feed herself, but likes any kind of food; particularly milk. She does not like
candy or chips.

Her mother is currently disabled and in the hospital, and her relatives are safe in Greenville MS. She is in the Red Cross's database and other lists. If you have any information, please call her relatives at 662-334-4770.

For her picture, please see:


We just found out that Megan Carter has been located in Texas with her caregiver. She is safe, doing fine, and is ready to be reunited with her family - what great news!


• • •

Missing 16 Year-Old Boy

Scott Gammage, Co-President of the Autism Society of Greater Tarrant County, went personally to all the shelters in Tarrant County (Fort Worth area) to see if there are any families with autism who need help. We have found a mother here in Fort Worth who is searching for her son with autism.

The mother Adrian Collins is at the Will Rogers Complex in Fort Worth. She is from New Orleans. Her son Eric Collins has autism and is 16 yrs. old. He is verbal and does pretty well with routine and his meds.(concerta, resperidol). She was concerned that he probably has no meds. Adrian thinks he is with his older brother Kennith Collins Jr. and his wife Karen Collins. They were also from New Orleans. She has no idea where they may have been taken but is confident they were bused out of New Orleans. It is an inconceivable understatement to say she was worried about them.

Adrian is also disabled from a stroke a few years back. She was gracious and grateful that someone here would be concerned.

Eric Collins birthday 12/21/88 Kennith Collins birthday 4/17/75 - Karen Collins

We are also searching through the Red Cross data bank to see if we can locate him. If anyone has any way to check with other shelters for Eric we would be most appreciative.

Marianna Bond, Autism Society of Greater Tarrant County 817-498-6133

• • •

Looses Touch With 21 Year-Old Son By Julie Goodman for The Clarion-Ledger

LAUREL — Sharoyn Kehlor held up a creased photograph of her son, Michael, standing in front of a Christmas tree at his group home in Kenner, La.

"Hmmm," she said, kissing his image. "My boy."

Kehlor, who has joined more than 700 other evacuees at a shelter here in Laurel run by the American Red Cross, has not talked to her son since Aug. 26 when Hurricane Katrina barreled into their lives.

Michael is 21 but with autism functions more as a 5-year-old and is used to speaking with his mother by phone every night and seeing her every Wednesday.

But instead of looking forward to her next visit, Kehlor, 55, is shuffling through her new home — the fairgrounds where rodeos are ordinarily held — navigating with a cane around barefoot children, pregnant women and armed men in fatigues.

Sharoyn Kehlor and her husband Michael sit on a cot at a Laurel shelter for Hurricane Katrina evacuees. The couple have not been able to locate their son.

She is surrounded by large fans, Coke machines and cots, and finds herself talking over an occasional loud-speaker announcement, sometimes delivered in Spanish.

Instead of listening to Michael go on about his beloved special needs bus or his favorite holiday, Halloween, she is surrounded by talk about a cot shortage, missing persons and shower time — women at even hours, men at odd.

She does not know where her son is, and she's been crying like crazy, she said.

The Friday before Katrina struck, her son's group home evacuated, supposedly transporting residents to Baton Rouge or Gonzales, La.

It was painful for her, she said, but she had to evacuate without him, knowing that the shelter where she and her husband would land would not be able to provide the 119 pills her son has to take every week, many for behavioral problems and ulcerative colitis.

She was given an emergency contact number for her son, but the information got lost in the shuffle.

Full report here:

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