I followed Avonte’s story from afar. I didn’t allow myself to get to close, especially as the search went on. I know the statistics, that after the first 48 hours, the chances of finding someone who has gone missing are infinitesimal. And that is probably a statistic attached to neurotypical, verbal people. When you add nonverbal autism into the mix… Let’s just say my mind stretched toward dark places.
So I stayed aloof. Until Thursday. And then I couldn’t stay away any longer. I knew it was him. And I began to cry whenever I let my mind get close to the story. I pushed it away, waiting for the other foot to drop. And yesterday it did.
There are no words.
I just can’t imagine. And I can, and I don’t want to, and it hurts, and I feel such sorrow. And anger. And hopelessness.
So the question now is, What Do We Do? Do we say “That’s so sad,” and go back to our lives and do nothing like when Newtown happened? Or do we actually do something? Is this acceptable in our society? Can we lose more nonverbal kiddos so easily?
What do we do?
Maybe the first thing to do is send our condolences to the Oquendo family:
The Perecman Firm
Attn: The Oquendo Family
250 West 57th Street
New York, NY 10107